‘Confident Delhi Capitals Will Win IPL Title,’ Says Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan talks about the challenges of living in a bio-bubble and about Delhi Capitals chances in IPL 2020.
“We are confident that we are going to take the cup this season," says a smiling Shikhar Dhawan, as he talks about his IPL team Delhi Capitals’ chances of winning the 13th season of IPL.
The franchise is yet to win a title in the 12 seasons so far and is bidding to break the jinx this season, that starts in the UAE on 19 September.
"As a team, we are looking forward to the tournament. We are really confident and are building a great bond. We are all coming back to cricket now, and are already creating that energy, and creating that bond within the team. I feel the trust is also very good between all of us, and I think we have a very balanced side which can do well in the conditions here in UAE," Dhawan said, while speaking to the media.
Much of Capitals' success last year was down to the overall team performances and proactive captaincy from Shreyas Iyer, and Dhawan believes the addition of more experienced brains will only help the young captain.
"Last season he (Iyer) led in a very nice manner, and with (Ravichandran) Ashwin, Ajinkya (Rahane) coming in with their experience, I think they will share their insights, and it can be really helpful for the team. I think Shreyas has an open mind to learn from both seniors and juniors, and he will lead us in the right way," Dhawan said.
Commenting on how Delhi Capitals’ depth in the spin department can help during the season, the opener said with wickets expected to get slower, the bowlers will come in handy but focus will be on all departments.
"With only three venues being used and lots of matches happening, I think during the course of the season, wickets will turn and get slower, and that's where our great spinners in Ashwin, Sandeep, Amit, and Axar will help us. Their experience will be really valuable. Not just our bowling, but our batting goes deep, so we will focus on a good overall team performance throughout. The whole team has to play well – that is our focus, and if we are able to do that, we can become champions," said the 34-year-old.
Always an optimist, Dhawan also talked about the time all players will be spending restricted to the IPL bio-bubble as ‘a challenge but also an opportunity’.
"It depends on an individual and how they think. I always see things as an opportunity so I see the bio-bubble as an opportunity to blend more with my team-mates. The other things there is, is that if a player is doing well or not doing well, they can’t step out of the hotel and they must go through the emotions here. In this IPL, there will not be an outlet for someone who is not doing well to get out and relax for a while by going to roam around outside and divert their mind. So here, people have to be mentally strong,” said Dhawan.
Asked if less travel and having limited venues during the season will make it easier for the batsmen, Dhawan said, "Not traveling much will definitely help us in avoiding fatigue and being able to recover quickly between matches. When you say it might be easier for batsmen, it depends on the pitches. If the pitches aren't good and have wear and tear then it becomes difficult – to score off the bowlers and at a quick rate."
Not short of self-belief, the Delhi-based batsman also commented on his plans with the national team. "Currently, I'm not in the Test team, but that does not mean I have lost hope of making a comeback. Whenever I have had the opportunities, like in the Ranji Trophy last year, I ended up making a century, and return to the ODI team. I believe as long as I have the bat in my hand, I can keep scoring and keep performing well."
"I focus on my process – which involves staying fit and strong and scoring consistently – if I keep doing that, the rest will follow," said Dhawan.
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