India opener Shikhar Dhawan has stated that early preparation will hold the key if they are to perform well in the forthcoming tour of England, scheduled to be played from July 3 to September 11.
India’s recent 2-1 Test series loss in South Africa was attributed to the lack of practice matches and Dhawan is rather optimistic that they can do well in England if they can prepare on the kind of tracks that will be dished up in the five-match Test series, starting from August 1.
“England is going to be a very difficult series but we will have to play on those sort of pitches from early on and see how it goes there. If we have the right preparation and are able to give our best shot, there is no reason why we can’t win Test series in England,” Dhawan quoted as saying by PTI.
Having conceded the first two Tests and the series to the Proteas, Team India bounced back emphatically to register a historic 63-run victory in the third Test at Wanderers. Since then, Virat Kohli and company didn’t look back as they went on to clinch both the limited-overs series. While India won the six-match ODI series by a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match T20I series 2-1.
Dhawan was dropped from the last two Tests after his couple of low scores in the first Test at Cape Town. However, he regained his form in the subsequent ODI series with two half-centuries and a hundred. Shikhar also notched up a string of good scores in the following T20 series.
The southpaw was visibly pleased for his stellar show with the willow in the ‘Rainbow Nation’. In fact, he admitted that his limited-overs performances in South Africa helped him bag an A+ central contract earlier this month.
“I was failing badly in overseas conditions, so to perform well (in ODIs and T20) gave me confidence. The performance in South Africa helped me win an A+ contract. I am very happy about that. It was a dream come true to perform like that in South Africa. I want to keep scoring runs consistently,” Dhawan said.
During the IPL auction in January, Sunrisers Hyderabad had used the RTM card to secure the services of Dhawan for INR 5.20 crores. And he is expected to play an instrumental role along with David Warner at the crucial opening spot.
“IPL is going to be exciting. It’s a fresh season and we have so many new faces and the team looks good. Hopefully, I will be fresh and fit to perform,” Dhawan said.
“IPL is a platform for players to get noticed and may be make it to the Indian team but the focus should be on performance rather than thinking about India selection,” he concluded.