Shikhar Dhawan: Already practicising for T20 World Cup
Bangalore: The Indian T20 team has over the years done decently enough, winning more games overall than they have lost.
They have failed though in their attempts to win a second World T20 title since the famous triumph in the first World T20 way back in 2007. This, despite the advantage of playing in the world's biggest T20 extravaganza - the IPL - which ironically kicked off a year later, in 2008.
It is no wonder then that the focus of the team management, even with the next World event more a year away, is on what will henceforth be known as the T20 World Cup. Twenty-odd matches are slated to be played between now and the next tournament in Australia and as skipper Virat Kohli has stated, identifying the team for that will take up much of his and the team management's time. Of course, the selectors will play some part too.
"Whatever we want to achieve at the World Cup, we are already practising now. So, by the time we reach the World Cup we are refined and we know our roles with great clarity, which is very, very important," stated senior member of the team Shikhar Dhawan ahead of the series deciding T20 International against the South Africans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here tonight.
India lead the three-match series 1-0, with the first game washed out.
"We are trying out youngsters and it is good that we give them a good run. But the young boys are taking these opportunities with both hands and with all their domestic and IPL experiences, we get a lot of benefit. Their confidence level is already high because they have played with and against international players. For example, in the last match, Shreyas [Iyer] finished the game. You can see from his body language that his belief, his confidence is high. He did pretty well in the West Indies too," said Dhawan of the Mumbai lad, one of many trying to cement a spot.
Dhawan's own form, since recovering from the injury he sustained in the World Cup in England, has been patchy but the left-handed opener is not too worried.
"I have been playing well. I got a break and came back. Even in the West Indies I didn't score many runs but I was middling the ball nicely," said Dhawan, before adding, "For me it is normal that 4-5 innings can go here and there. But yes, sometimes some strategies do not go your way, but it's a part of the journey."
You can bet that both Dhawan's journey and that of the team will be closely followed in the run up to Australia 2020.
India v SA: 3rd T20I: Star Sports 1, 1 Hindi and DD Sports, 19:00
Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates