Guwahati: Plagued by injuries in 2019, opener Shikhar Dhawan is aiming for a fresh start in the new year and wants to become a “more impactful” batsman in his quest to help India lift the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
Dhawan did not have a very good 2019 as he was in and out of the team because of injuries.
The left-handed opener was ruled out midway from last year’s ICC ODI World Cup after sustaining a thumb fracture. Injuries continued to haunt Dhawan as he missed the home T20 series against the West Indies in December after hurting his knee during a Ranji Trophy match.
“Last year I had lots of injuries but that’s part and parcel of our work. It’s a new year and I am looking forward for a new start and it’s gonna go a long way,” Dhawan told bcci.tv.
“This year looking I am forward to score lots of runs for the team and for myself and be a more impactful player, win matches for my team and win the World Cup,” he said, elaborating on his goal for 2020.
The ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted by Australia from October 18 to November 15 this year.
Asked how difficult it was for him to be in and out of the team, the 34-year-old dasher from Delhi said: “I am always positive, I always take things in a positive manner.
“Injuries are quite natural, so I just take it in my stride. I don’t make a fuss about it. I make sure that I always stay in a positive mindset and that helps things to heal very quickly. “
Dhawan, who is back in the Indian team for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka, believes the ongoing rubber is a great opportunity for him to be back among runs.
“I am really looking forward to this series. It’s a good opportunity for me to come and express myself and score big runs,” he said.
“I am always developing my game, developing new shots. I always make sure that I do my preparation well and come on the ground and enjoy myself.”
The first T20 of the series against Sri Lanka was washed out without a ball being bowled here on Sunday night.
The second match will be held in Indore on Tuesday.
Only toss could take place on Sunday at Guwahati’s Barsapara Cricket Ground before rain gods came in and left damp spots on the pitch thus forcing the game to be called off without a ball being bowled.
Hairdryers were used to dry the pitch after water seeped in through leaking covers at the Barsapara Stadium, a sight which is not usually seen in international cricket. And that hasn’t gone down well with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which now awaits chief curator Ashish Bhowmick’s report on the same.
Just like Guwahati, the team management and other Indian cricket fans would focus on comeback man Jasprit Bumrah who is making his return to international cricket. Bumrah has been out of action after India’s tour of the West Indies in July-August due to a stress fracture on his back and thus would be rearing to go and perform for the team.
With the three-match series now effectively turning into a two-game affair, both India and Sri Lanka would want to win in Indore to make sure they can’t lose the series. Also, Sri Lanka have never beaten India in a bilateral T20I series, a record which they would desperately like to change in the remaining two games.
Catch the match
India vs Sri Lanka
Second T20 International, Indore
Match starts at 5.30 pm UAE