All the stand-by players for the T20 World Cup, playing in the South Africa ODI series will aim to use the three games to make a case for themselves for the main squad, stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan said on Wednesday. With Jasprit Bumrah already ruled out, the series could be a shot-out between Deepak Chahar, who is in the stand-by list and Mohammed Siraj, who could make that list in the event that Mohammed Shami fails to become match-fit before October 15.
Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi and Chahar are the standbys named for the Indian team for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia and will be travelling Down Under as reserves.
“Of course, it is very important because the more matches they (standby players) are going to play, they will be in better groove and better mindset. If the boys perform well, then obviously the confidence will help them. Who knows they might get a chance so they can look at this series as preparation,” Dhawan said here on the eve of the first game.
With lot of uncapped players — Rahul Tripathi, Rajat Patidar, Mukesh Kumar, Shahbaz Ahmed, in the squad, Dhawan feels that the exposure will only help these youngsters grow.
“If you look at the performance of our youngsters, the transition that happened that shows their confidence.
“The more they play they will get more experience, their confidence level will increase. They will learn from mistakes. Even for me as well. Keeping 2023 in mind, the more matches I play will be beneficial for me,” he added.
“The team is very good and with this team we played in West Indies and Zimbabwe. Most of the players are the same, there are one or two new players. We share a good tuning. The new boys have brought in new energy. They have bee doing well in the last few series.”
On Personal front, goal is to remain fit for ODI World Cup
Dhawan has easily been India’s most consistent ODI batter in last two years and at 36, all he wants is to stay fit and play the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.
Dhawan has had a solid career, amassing 2315, 6647 and 1759 runs in 34 Test, 158 ODI and 68 T20 matches respectively.
Dhawan has captained the ODI team in Sri Lanka and West Indies and was lthe vice-captain in Zimbabwe. He will don the responsibility once again in the three-match ODI series against South Africa.
“I feel very blessed I had a beautiful career. I am really grateful. Whenever possible I pass on my knowledge to youngsters. Now there is new responsibility on me but I see opportunity in challenges and I enjoy it,” the left-handed opener said on the eve of the series opener here.
“My goal currently is 2023 World Cup. I just want to keep myself fit and be in a good state of mind to be in fray,” he added.
Dhawan said he is enjoying the leadership responsibility entrusted on him.
“I try to give them such an environment where they can be themselves and open up. Thy can then communicate much better. I try to keep a happy, light environment and side by side I also share my experiences and even I learn a lot from them.”
Forecast of rain
It has been pouring heavily here since Tuesday night and there is prediction more rain on Thursday.
“Rain is not in our control but the good thing is that the drainage system of this ground is very good. We are very hopeful the match will happen tomorrow. We have done our preparation and the boys are in good state of mind,” Dhawan said.
Proteas are a good team
India had defeated South Africa 2-1 in the preceding T20 series but Dhawan expects a tough fight from the Proteas in the ODIs.
“South Africa has a good team. Winning and losing are part of the game but it is important to learn from defeats,” he said.
“Both the teams made plenty of runs in the T20 series. It depends on pitch, dew factor and plenty of other factors.” Dhawan begs to differ that India had been experimenting with captaincy of late.
“Whenever experiment happened that time the senior players were not there. They were given rest, need to manage their load otherwise there are chances of injuries. Whoever is made the captain he is the most senior-most players and capable for the job,” he signed off.
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