With the present bunch of selectors — led by Sandeep Patil — looking to take domestic performances into account while picking players for the national team, Delhi skipper and opener Shikhar Dhawan’s decision to change his game ahead of the current season has paid rich dividends.
The six centuries on the domestic circuit this season have ensured that Dhawan got a call- up when the five wise men decided to drop out- of- form Gautam Gambhir. The fact that Dhawan too is a left- hander would have only been a bonus as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known to prefer a left- right opening combination.
Dhawan admitted that immaturity and inconsistency had been the prime reasons for his failure to make the leap from domestic to international cricket earlier.
He said that over the years, he had neither been consistent nor scored the big runs — often getting out after starting well.
“ Before the start of the season, I went into retrospection mode and realised that while I was scoring runs, there was a lack of consistency and I was being immature and throwing my wicket away after doing all the hard work. I also realised that to make it to the Indian team, I needed to score close to 1,000 runs season after season.
Only then I could stake a claim in the national team,” Dhawan told MAIL T ODAY . But he is quick to add that he would have loved to score more runs for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy — something he failed to do this season.
“ I would have loved to take more responsibility as the opener of the Delhi team and score a couple of more centuries and help the team enter the knockout stages,” he said.
Dhawan says that the tour to the West Indies with the Indian ODI team was an eye- opener for him and that was when he decided that he needed to look into what was going wrong in his game.
“ I was really excited going on the West Indies tour but after a fifty in the opening match, I failed to get better. Later I realised that if I had played a few more good knocks, I would have been a part of the squad to England too,” the 27- year- old batsman said.
But it was his knock against the visiting Englishmen — for Delhi — in the warm- up game at the Ferozeshah Kotla in the Capital on January 8 that brought him back into the fray for selection. He scored a scorching century to lead his team to a win.
“ The century couldn’t have come at a better time. The fact that it came against an international side gave me enormous confidence and from then on I have tried to keep doing the basics right so that I am in the reckoning,” he said.
Dhawan also feels that the selectors have been really encouraging and have opened doors to youngsters who are looking to impress them.
“ The selectors travel extensively and try to watch as many games as possible.
Also, the way they gave Cheteshwar Pujara an opportunity just on the basis of his performance on the domestic circuit has been an encouragement to all those looking to break into the national side,” he signed off.