Jobs come and go, don't want to put load on my myself because I'm the captain, remarks Shikhar Dhawan

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Shikhar Dhawan is all set to lead India in an ODI bilateral series, for the fourth time, against New Zealand

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Jobs come and go, don't want to put load on my myself because I'm the captain, remarks Shikhar Dhawan

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SportsCafe Desk

11/23/2022

Shikhar Dhawan has opened up about his calm approach to captaincy and the skills that make him suitable for the job, having recently been named Punjab Kings skipper alongside leading India in ODIs. He further discussed his brief stint at Sunrisers Hyderabad and his plans as skipper for the future.

Shikhar Dhawan's profile as a senior cricketer has been on the ascent in recent times with the opener being trusted with captaincy more and more both on the international circuit and in franchise cricket. The 36-year-old was recently named as the Punjab Kings skipper, replacing the incumbent Mayank Agarwal following the latter's batting struggles during his time as leader of the side.

Since 2021, Dhawan has led the Indian team in three ODI series, emerging triumphant in all three comprehensively with seven wins in nine games. The Delhite is now set to take the reins of the Men in Blue once again when they take on the Kiwis in a three-match ODI series beginning November 25.

"I always used to see good potential in me as a leader, and thanks to God, captaincy has now fallen in my bag. I was captain against West Indies and South Africa, and we won such amazing series," Dhawan revealed to ESPN Cricinfo.

The 36-year-old did not shy away when asked to list the attributes that make him a good skipper.

"My presence of mind, my smartness, my decision-making. As you play more, you get confident in the decisions you take. Earlier, there used to be instances where I would give an extra over to a bowler out of regard [for him]. But now, as I have matured, even if someone is feeling bad, I will take a decision that will help the team," Dhawan explained.

Dhawan's leadership of Punjab won't be his first stint as captain in the Indian Premier League, having also led the Sunrisers Hyderabad for 10 games in 2014. Even though he managed to win a respectable four games, the period was marked with turmoil.

"I still feel that you should be given a full season of captaincy. If I had known that I was being given the captaincy for only half the season, I wouldn't have taken it...The difference now is that it's a new beginning. In the Indian team, I have been captain for three to four series, so there is a sort of brotherhood now. Everyone knows how things go on, and what to do, so there is a comfort level. I want to do the same at Punjab Kings so that we reach that comfort level as soon as we can. It always starts at the top. I already have a good bond with the boys. I am very, very positive that it will be an amazing journey," an optimist Dhawan remarked.

Concerns over Dhawan's strike rate arose once again after the recent IPL season, having fallen from the highs of 135-plus in the previous three seasons back to the 120s. However, the opener remains unfazed by it despite the added responsibility and the evident impact it had on Agarwal's form in the tournament.

"Jobs come and go, no worries. Humne khaali haath aana hai, khaali haath hi jaana hai. Yeh sab toh yahin reh jaana hai [We come into the world empty-handed and leave empty-handed. All this just remains here]. I don't feel any fear about losing the job. [Just because] I'm the captain, I don't want to put that load on myself, saying "Okay, I have to do it this way or that way." I will just play the game based on our team goals, based on what the team demands, what it needs."

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