‘I was not hurt’: Dhawan talks about being replaced for Zimbabwe series

Shikhar Dhawan-led India is all set for the ODI series against New Zealand after winning the T20I series.

Ahead of the opening contest on Friday, Dhawan spoke to reporters where he said that he was asked about how he felt when he was removed as the captain of the Zimbabwe series at the last minute.

“If I talk about the Zimbabwe tour, KL Rahul is the vice-captain of our main team, when he came back, I was mindful of the fact that he had to go to Asia Cup,” Dhawan said during a pre-match press conference.

“If Rohit had gotten injured during Asia Cup, then KL might have been asked to lead. So it was better that he had the practice during the Zimbabwe tour,” he added.

“I was not hurt. I feel that whatever happens, happens for the best. I was then selected as the captain for the South Africa series, the selectors and the team management gave me that opportunity. I never feel bad,” he added.

Looking ahead at the series against the Kiwis he said, “I consider myself fortunate that I am getting an opportunity to lead the side at this stage of my career. I feel good about it and it is a challenge. We have won good series with a young side. To play good cricket and win the series, that’s what we are looking for.”

“Of course it’s good exposure for the young boys, to do well in New Zealand, and test their skills. It’s been raining as well, and the ball has been moving so it’s a good opportunity for us to show our skills. This preparation is all about the World Cup,” he added.

Acknowledging the pressure to perform Dhawan said, “I don’t take anything for granted. It’s good that it keeps me on my toes.”

Despite only playing ODIs for India, the southpaw is looking at the positive side of things and said that he remains motivated and prepared for one format.

“I see it as a blessing because when I get time off I stay fresher, stronger. When I was playing three formats, there was much more cricket. Now of course we have lots of players in different formats. It’s a challenge as well but I ensure to keep myself in that groove. Whenever I enter, I have to be at the pace of the team. Otherwise, I will be left behind.”

Dhawan was also asked about how mental health in times of social media. “On social media, there is trolling. We are used to it now, smart people know how to go about using social media. They know if they don’t perform, what kind of chatter will take place on social media. It totally depends on our performance. When you know it, there is no need of looking into it. That’s how I deal with it.”

India ODI squad: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC and WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik

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