Looking forward to perform and make my place stronger for World Cup contendership: Shikhar Dhawan

Tags: India, Shikhar Dhawan, T20 World Cup 2021

Published on: Jul 16, 2021

India captain for the Sri Lanka limited-overs series, Shikhar Dhawan, has admitted that the three-match T20I series will be crucial for him to put his name as a contender for the T20 World Cup. Dhawan did not feature in most of the matches of the T20I series against England at home earlier in the year. KL Rahul was preferred as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner. However, Dhawan scored 600-plus runs in IPL 2020 and was the leading run-scorer this year as well until the tournament was suspended.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the T20 series, which starts on Sunday, Dhawan said, "So, on a personal note, I'm really looking forward to perform over here and make my place stronger for World Cup contendership. Then we'll see how it goes in the future."

He also backed the youngsters to do well and carry on the good work from the ODI series, which they won 2-1. Dhawan added that not only the young guns but even the seniors are working hard to ensure they do well in the T20Is. The left-hander stated, "Of course they (youngsters) are ready, that's why they are here. As you saw, youngsters have performed so well in the ODI series, so they'll be taking that confidence ahead in the T20I series.

"You will see them perform really well. As a team, we have created an amazing environment over here. Really looking forward to do well as a team. Not just the youngsters, even the senior players are looking forward to it. It is very important. Of course, any international match has its own impact, and whenever you perform internationally it makes a huge impact," he added.

India made as many as six changes to the team for the final ODI against Sri Lanka. Dhawan elaborated about India’s tactics in the T20Is that they will look to win the series first and then experiment if needed. He said, "We have to win the series. In the last ODI, there was a good opportunity to give some youngsters a chance and give them a taste of international cricket, because we had already won the series. "We'll of course go in with our best XI first. We'll try to win the first two matches, and then according to the situation, we can experiment in the last game, if needed.

"If we win two matches, then we have options to play any combination we want to. Otherwise, our main goal is to play the best XI to win the series. That's our first priority. After that, if we can seal it like we did in the ODIs, we can think of experimenting," he added.

India went down to Sri Lanka by three wickets in the final ODI on Friday. Batting first, they were all out for 225 and the hosts chased down the target courtesy fifties from Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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