Shikhar Dhawan has stated that despite not getting an off day after their opening tie against Hong Kong, the Indian side will come out to play against arch-rivals Pakistan with a positive mindset. The Indian opener also praised the Hong Kong openers for putting up an exceptional show against them.
India will play its second game in the ongoing Asia Cup against Pakistan today after ending up as the winning side against Hong Kong yesterday. The Indian cricketers were forced to play two back-to-back games without getting a day off and Dhawan admitted that the Indian players are tired and the ideal situation should have been getting rest for at least a day before the big game against Pakistan.
"The ideal situation will be to have a break and then play. We all are humans, so we also get tired as well. But at the same time, we are quite strong enough. Once we go and come tomorrow, of course, it's a big game, and we all are going to be positive and strong," Dhawan said at the post-match press conference.
The Indian opener also praised Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath for their first-wicket stand and said that India didn't expect that kind of a batting performance by them. Khan scored 92 and missed out on a century while captain Rath amassed 73 runs while chasing.
"We didn't expect that they were going to score a 174-run partnership. But they played well and, of course, we could have been more consistent in our bowling but we have to give credit to their batsmen. Both the opening batsmen played really well. The way they played their shots and the way they were calculative about scoring runs, it was good. I have to appreciate their good batting as well," the Indian opener expressed.
The left-hander also informed that there was almost no assistance for the bowlers and still the Indians did a good job by pulling things back in India's favour after a huge partnership at the top-order.
"There wasn't much of a swing or seam on the wicket. Not that we didn't know much about Hong Kong, of course, we watch videos where the player's batting or bowling. Some of our bowlers were playing after a long time. Like Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) coming after a break, Shardul (Thakur) was in England but he didn't play a match for two months. So it takes time to get into the rhythm as well. And at the same time, Khaleel bowled really well. Of course we couldn't get the wicket at the start but later on the way, we came back in the game and the way our fast bowlers or spinners as well, they both took wickets, that was good," stated Dhawan.
"We knew that once we get the top-order wickets, we can come back in the game. Obviously, they gave a decent fight and it is always good to learn from every match."