Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has defended the conservative approach adopted by the Indian openers and stated that it wouldn't have made sense to lose early wickets in an attempt to be aggressive. He also added that it's great to see the confidence of the youngsters at the international level.
There was a contrasting approach to the way both the Indian and England openers batted in the first ODI on Tuesday in Pune. On a wicket that had slight assistance for the seamers, the Men in Blue decided to play the ball on its merit than take the aggressive approach and that resulted in India making 39 runs in the first 10 overs. While England went gung-ho like they usually do and ended up with 89 runs in the first powerplay. There was a collapse and England lost the game but Virat Kohli did concede that India had made an under-par score. It was largely owing to the slow start by the Indian openers and then a mini-collapse after Kohli got out.
In the post-match press conference, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who made 98 and was named Man of the Match, defended India's approach and stated that the team would have lost wickets had they taken the aggressive route early on.
"It wouldn't have made any sense if you would have gone hard at the start, losing few wickets, so our plan was just stay on the wicket and respect the good deliveries. We knew that both of us, Rohit and me, we can always cash those runs later on and wicket would have been bit more supportive for the batsmen and even that also in the end we scored such a big total," Dhawan said at the virtual post-match press conference, reported HT.
The Indian opener who is not on the right side of the age was under considerable pressure coming into the series given now India have a great bench strength and a few bad games might well have cost him his place in the side. But, he batted brilliantly and narrowly missed his ton in the ODI series opener. Dhawan, however, admitted that pressure is always there at the top-level but he knows how to deal with it.
"(In) international cricket, pressure is always there and the thing is as an experienced player, I know how to handle pressure.
"...and secondly, as I said, I am experienced player, so I know what shots to play on what certain wickets and we read the wicket nicely and communicate very nicely in the batting unit and that's what we did and that worked for us. "Of course, once I got set, I have a lot of shots, that I can get my runs," he said.
One of the common themes of the white-ball series between India and England has been the way the new Indian players have taken the international cricket by storm. Yesterday, it was Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna, both the ODI debutantes, doing well for the country. Dhawan attributed their confidence to playing the domestic cricket and the IPL.
"The new players who have come into the side, it feels that they are confident, because they play so many domestic games and IPL and they share dressing room with big players, play against them, that builds confidence and they feel that there are same players at the international level.
"There are top notch coaches there, so the IPL exposure helps a lot, and our domestic cricket is strong, it is good mix of the two, because of which the new players are performing, so whenever the team transition happens, it won't be felt," he said.