Sachin's and Viru's innings much bigger than mine: Shikhar Dhawan
"I was aware of the record and it felt really special to score these runs," Dhawan told bcci.tv after the match after India A's 39-run win over South Africa A which took them to the tri-series final against Australia A.
"When I got out in the 44th over it occurred to me that if I had batted till the end I had a chance to score a triple hundred. I am happy with what I scored though," he said. "It did cross my mind that I joined Sachin paaji and Viru paaji in scoring a double century in a one-day game," he added.
Dhawan toppled quite a few batting records en route to his way to a 150-ball knock of 248 runs. He overtook Virender Sehwag's 219 in an ODI against West Indies in 2011 to register the highest List A score by an Indian. He became the third Indian, after Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag to score a double century in a 50-over match.
Dhawan's 248 also became the second highest List A score of all time, after England's Alistair Brown's 268. Dhawan, who smashed his way to a 187-run knock on Test debut earlier this year, said yesterday's knock was very special.
"I especially enjoyed it as it came against a South African side in their own backyard. They are very tough to play at home and they play good quality cricket," Dhawan said. The left-handed opener, however, kept things in perspective and said the knocks by Tendulkar and Shewag had a bigger context.
"...those were two of the greatest innings in cricket history and they came at the international level. So, they are much bigger than my innings," Dhawan said. Asked to pick his favourite among the three. Dhawan said, "I've always loved watching Sachin paaji and Viru paaji bat. But I love my batting as well. So, it's difficult for me to pick one favourite knock of the three."
This year, Dhawan has scored four international centuries -- one in Tests and three in ODIs -- and was Man of the Series in India's victorious Champions Trophy campaign. Reflecting on his knock yesterday, Dhawan said he picked his strokes well.
"I had scored 85 in the previous match and I wanted to score a big hundred for the team because our batsmen were all getting out in the 80s and 90s," he said. "A big century was necessary for giving a good total to the team. Once I crossed the 100, I was in a different flow. I thought I made smart choice of shots and things went my way," he added.
"This will remain one of my favourite matches because I scored 200 for the first time in a 50-over game. Unfortunately it didn't come live on the television but that's fine because I loved batting," he signed off.