Shikhar Dhawan | 2017 ICC Champions Trophy | Team India |

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I Am Pumped Up To Play The Champions Trophy: Shikhar Dhawan 

I Am Pumped Up To Play The Champions Trophy: Shikhar Dhawan

India opener Shikhar Dhawan feels getting a place in the Indian Team for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy is a reward for his performance for his consistent performances in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

The southpaw has been an integral part of the limited-overs team since the last three-fours years. However, he had lost his regular place in the team after a poor 2016. The dashing batsman struggled throughout the last year to score consistently and paid the price for it as KL Rahul went ahead of him in the pecking order.

After being omitted from the Test series against England, the Delhi star was handed a chance to get back into the scheme of things during the ODI series against England. However, the southpaw completely failed to justify his selection as he scored 1 and 11 in the first two games before being dropped for the final match. But with KL Rahul injured, the left-handed batsman has got another chance to prove himself.

Expressing his excitement on being a part of the squad for the Champions Trophy, Dhawan said he wants to keep playing for the national team as long as he can. But at the same time, he said that his current goal is to do well in the IPL.

“I was obviously happy to see my name in the India squad for the Champions Trophy but more than that I felt it was a reward for my performances in the shorter formats and in the ongoing IPL,” he told If I keep performing well, I believe those performances won’t be ignored. I want to perform and keep playing for India as long as I can. I am pumped up to play the Champions Trophy. I have some good memories of the tournament and I had a great one the last time we played there. But as of now, I want to focus on the IPL and then switch to the preparations for the Champions Trophy. We will try to bring home the Champions Trophy.”

The 31-year old batsman celebrated the national team call-up with a match-winning knock against Mumbai Indians on Monday (May 8). Chasing 139, Sunrisers Hyderabad were in a  spot of bother when their in-form skipper David Warner departed with just 7 runs on the board. However, Dhawan remained unbeaten on 62 to guide his team home with 10 overs remaining.

Speaking about the knock, he said:

“It is a great feeling to play a match-winning knock. I really enjoyed my batting and I believe I played with a lot of maturity and responsibility. I knew David Warner had got out and Yuvraj Singh was injured. The onus was on me to take the team through and I am happy I finished the game for the team. The partnership between Henriques and myself was really important and I guess we won it because of that.”

Dhawan had come in this season of IPL on the back of some poor performances in Test cricket. However, he said that he was not worried about his form.

I know I didn’t have a great Test season, but going into the IPL I was relaxed. I didn’t want to chase a tournament and play and work towards it. I knew I was doing my process well even when I wasn’t going through the best of times in Tests. I have not been amongst the runs for a long time now but I can’t let such things affect me. My hard work, dedication and love towards the game never diminished and I persisted with my processes.

“I was in good touch getting into the IPL with some good scores in the Deodhar Trophy and that gave me confidence going into the IPL. When the IPL started, I did get some decent scores and I wanted to stretch that good form going forward. I want this patch to continue going into the Champions Trophy as well,” he added.

Dhawan is currently the second highest run-getter in the tournament with 450 runs in 12 matches.

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