Shikhar Dhawan who was recently named as the new skipper of the Punjab Kings ahead of the upcoming edition of the IPL talks about how he made a conscious effort to increase his strike rate to keep his place. He has credited Ricky Ponting for giving him the required confidence.
Dhawan had a successful three seasons with the Delhi Capitals. He was the highest run-getter for them and the second-highest run-getter in the 2020 edition. He scored 618 runs in 17 games which included four half- and two centuries.
While speaking to ESPN Cricinfo he said:
“I knew I had to work on my strike rate. Even last year, my strike rate decreased a little, but I had to play an anchoring role because virtually all our main batsmen at Punjab Kings were aggressive. Three years ago I understood I had to increase my strike rate.”
“I didn’t shy away from taking that risk. Also, at Capitals, I really enjoyed playing with Ricky Ponting. He put a lot of confidence in me, he appreciated even innings where I scored 15-20 runs but with a good strike rate. Ponting created a very good environment.”
“You have to be very flexible” – Shikhar Dhawan
He further stated that he plays according to the team’s situation and believes that the batter’s strike rate should be flexible.
“It totally depends on the situation. If the wicket is not easy to bat on, then playing aggressively makes no sense. Also, I don’t believe the role should be allotted to one batter because then there is pressure on the guy at the other end. You have to be very flexible.”
He was further asked about the differences between leading an IPL franchise and the Indian team to which he said:
“I was only captain for half a season for Sunrisers. The difference now is that it’s a new beginning. In the Indian team, I have been captain for three to four series, so there is a sort of a brotherhood now. Everyone knows how things go on, what to do, so there is a comfort level. I want to do the same at Punjab Kings, so that we reach that comfort level as soon as we can.”