Shikhar Dhawan: Satisfying to score century in England-like conditions
No flashy drives and playing close to the body was the secret for another Shikhar Dhawan special on his home ground as he ended the day unbeaten on 137 off 198 balls.
New Delhi: There is a difference between an international player and a domestic one and that was very much evident in the way Delhi captain Shikhar Dhawan batted against the Hyderabad bowlers on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Wednesday. No flashy drives and playing close to the body was the secret for another Dhawan special on his home ground as he ended the day unbeaten on 137 off 198 balls.
"Conditions were challenging as the ball was doing a bit in the morning," he said after the day's play. "The wicket is juicy as there was no sunshine to bake it. It's less now but nevertheless there is juice. Hopefully, when we get the new ball, we will be able to do the damage. "I changed my game as when the left-arm spinner [Mehidy Hasan] was bowling, I was itching to hit him. But looking at the overall situation, I curbed my instincts as there wasn't much batting left. With experience, you get an idea what shots to play on which kind of track. I didn't play too many balls away from my body, didn't play the drives.
"When I was [aged] 20-21, I would play those shots. But now with experience, I have a look at the track and know what kind of shots are required. My plan was not to play the drive. I played one and the edge flew to gully and was fortunately called no-ball. I was batting on 67. "I tried to play box cricket, that is bat close to the pad. On these wickets, you tend to get good balls. It was more like England conditions. It's good as scoring runs in these conditions helps boost confidence," he explained.
Asked about the other batsmen who failed to get going, Dhawan said that the wicket was helping the bowlers. "They got good balls and strategy-wise they fiddled with deliveries outside the off-stump," said the opener.
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