Shikar Dhawan
Shikar Dhawan

Despite India losing their World Twenty20 warm-up game against South Africa, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan believes his knock of 73 was a great learning experience which made him wiser.

Batting first at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday evening, South Africa posted 196/8 in 20 overs, thanks to J.P. Duminy’s 67 and Quinton de Kock’s 56. In reply, despite Dhawan’s 73 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 16-ball 30 towards the end, India fell short of the target by four runs as they could manage only 192/3 in 20 overs.

“As an individual, it was a good learning for me as I batted till the 15-16th over. So with my calculation, for the next games, I will be better when I face this kind of situations in T20s. So it was a good learning for me and I got wiser,” Dhawan said at the post-match press conference.

“We were trying out combinations like ‘Bhajji pa’ (Harbhajan Singh) bowled the first over. Then all other bowlers who were playing, bowled. I guess that’s how we are trying and it’s good everyone is getting a game and getting used to the pressure or the wickets or the pitch or everything. Things changed in the last 3-4 months in the team.”

India open their World T20 campaign against New Zealand in Nagpur on Tuesday.

Asked why the best finishers were not able to deliver against the Proteas, Dhawan said, “These are normal things. It does not happen that the best finishers will always guarantee the task. Everyone gave their best and that’s what matters.”

“At a time when we were chasing such a big total and wickets fell early on, after that there was a good partnership and we came so close, it was only a matter of four runs. We learnt a lot from this game. What we learned today will be implemented in the future.”

With many terming India as favourites to lift the title, the 30-year-old said the burden of expectations will be shared among the teammates and not borne by any individual.

“We stay close as a family. We’ll try to share the burden of expectations as a group and not individuals. We are playing at home and the expectations of ‘ghar ke log’ (home crowd) is always there and we are also used to it. We are playing with it for a long time and that’s how we are going to deal with it,” Dhawan concluded.

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