The 36-year-old from Delhi had another consistent run in the IPL, scoring 421 runs for Punjab Kings with one game remaining. The last time the stylish opener scored fewer than 300 runs in the competition was in 2015, which underscores his consistency.
Despite being among the heats last year and leading India on the tour of Sri Lanka, Dhawan failed to find a place in the final T20 World Cup squad.
The battle for places is heating up at the Indian team but Dhawan is expected to make a T20 comeback with the home series against South Africa from 9 June.
He believes his experience with the T20 setup can be useful.
“While remaining an integral part of the team, I still feel I can contribute based on my experience in the shortest format. I did quite well in the T20 format. Whatever role I got, I did well.
“I’ve managed to be consistent in the formats I play, whether it’s at the IPL or nationally, and I’m enjoying it. Consistency isn’t just about hitting fifties or hundreds frequently, it’s about maintaining even gaps between those scores,” Dhawan said in an exclusive interview with PTI.
A few months after leading India in Sri Lanka, Dhawan missed the World Cup. He was obviously disappointed, but his positive outlook on life helped him get over it.
“Yes, I am a very positive person. Leading the team last year was a dream come true for me. For the T20 World Championship they thought the (chosen) players were better than me and fair enough.
“Whatever decisions the selectors make, I respect that. That’s what happens in life. You accept it and carry on with your work. I just focus on what’s within my control and try to make the best of the opportunities I get,” he said.
“Definitely play for at least another three years”
Having played 34 Tests, 149 ODIs and 68 T20s for India since his debut in 2010, Dhawan wants to continue for at least three years.
“I don’t put unnecessary pressure on myself. It’s a race that never ends. When I get into that mindset I don’t get happy and it’s not good energy. My ODI average is 45.53. I’m always looking for growth and analyze if i can get better.
“We as cricketers need to stay on our toes and stay fit to be relevant in the race to represent India. I’ll play for at least the next three years. I’ve been batting pretty well for the past few years, I’m hopeful and positive that there are many milestones to be reached in my performance.
“My focus is on the journey and not the destination, it’s more about how I refine as a cricketer and how consistent I play and how I grow as a leader,” he said with a philosophical note.
As the role of power hitting only increases in the shortest format, Dhawan realizes that ongoing education is “really” the need of the hour.
“Everyone has to be open to change if the need arises. I can adapt to any situation, I do this day job and right now the situation may not be the same all season, it’s changing all the time.” I have the presence of mind to know when to do what,” he said.
We should have been more consistent: Dhawan on Punjab’s run in IPL
Punjab were kicked out of Thursday’s IPL after Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Gujarat Titans. It was another season of missed opportunities for Punjab.
“I would have liked to have won more games for the team and at times I felt like we were performing well as a batting unit and sometimes as a bowling unit but should have been more consistent. If we had done that, we could have been in a much better position,” said Dhawan in his first season with the franchise.
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