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Viru paaji is like a mentor to me: Shikhar Dhawan

The swashbuckling opener hasn’t played a single match in the T20 competition so far, but is expected to play a big role for the success of the new franchise. 


Shikar Dhawan at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Dhawan fared pretty well in the last edition of the cash-rich league, scoring 569 runs in 15 matches at an average of 40.64 for the now-defunct Deccan Chargers. He had five 50-plus scores against his name last year. Dhawan spoke to MiD DAY at the Tag Heuer Aquaracer event yesterday.

Excerpts:

Has it been hard to put aside the memories of your great Test debut and contribute to the task on hand which is faring well in the IPL?
The Test debut was really satisfying with the amount of runs I scored which helped in contributing to the team’s victory. Sadly, I had an injury and could not continue, but I am recovering well and really looking forward to get back on field and perform well for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Were you devastated when the hand injury kept you out of the Delhi Test in front of your home crowd?
It was very difficult to miss the final Test because of an injury, but all these things happen and you really can’t help it. It would have been really wonderful to play in front of my home crowd.

How much has Sehwag’s approach to batting influenced you?
Viru paaji is a great player. He has always been there to help me improve my game. He is like a mentor to me and I always look up to him for advice.

Who is the person who kept reminding you (before your Test debut) about the need to get big runs? Your coach or Shikhar Dhawan himself?
I missed the first two Tests (Chennai and Hyderabad) and had been spending lot of time with the support staff working hard on my game.
My personal coach and the whole team have always been very supportive. When you play for your nation, you always want to do your best and do well for the team.

When can we expect you to take field for the Sunrisers?
I am recovering very well, so hopefully I should be back in action soon. 

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