Zim vs Ind 2022 – Shikhar Dhawan embraces spirituality to stay positive

Shikhar Dhawan likes to play the flute. It gives him a sense of calm. He has also embraced spirituality, which he believes has opened his eyes to a world of positivity.

“I learned it through spirituality,” Dhawan said when asked how he has maintained a sense of calm through the various highs and lows of his career. “You need to practice [having a calm mindset] just like you play cricket.

“It’s something I try to pass on to the youngsters. As cricketers we all live our dream and if you don’t live happily [despite that], what’s the point? It’s such little things. I’m not trying to let negativity seep in. I always try to be positive.”

It is perhaps this mindset that allows Dhawan to accept circumstances with ease. Dhawan is currently only a one size player and said he “loves the 50-overs game” and wants to continue his good work from the Caribbean where he led India to a 3-0 sweep in the ODIs. His 168 runs, including two half-centuries, made him the second highest finisher in the series after Shubman Gill.
Dhawan returns to Zimbabwe for the first time in nine years. Coming back to Harare will no doubt bring back happy memories. In the second ODI of that 2013 tour, he hit a match-winning 116. He hopes the next series will bring even more runs on what he thought were “great batting wickets”.
However, he is clear that runs will not come easy. Zimbabwe’s recent form – beating Bangladesh 2-1 earlier this month – will keep India on its toes. “It’s good that they won against Bangladesh,” Dhawan said. “I’m sure they play good cricket. It’s good for us because it keeps us sharp. We can’t take anything for granted or lightly. We’re here to perform against a good team. It’s always about the process.”
Dhawan admitted he didn’t know much about Zimbabwe’s current side, although he acknowledged that Sikandar Raza was a “good player who has been doing well for many years”. However, he stated that by August 18 they will have all bases covered, mainly by properly channeling technology and data from their opponents.

“We don’t play that much cricket” [against each other], but we have all the data,” he said. “From there, we discover the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. I think that’s where technology comes in handy. In one game you get to know the patterns pretty quickly. Before that, we use technology to get started with our planning.”

Dhawan was happy to see KL Rahul again. Rahul takes over the captaincy which was initially handed over to Dhawan. Rahul is returning to competitive cricket for the first time since the IPL, after a long rehabilitation for a sports hernia and then Covid-19.

“It’s very good news that KL is back on the sidelines,” Dhawan said. “He is one of the key players of the Indian team and with the Asian Cup approaching, it will be a good outing for him. I am sure he will gain a lot from this tour. It is sad that Washington [Sundar] is out, it’s part of the sport. These things happen. Hope he recovers quickly.”

Dhawan was also vocal about the IPL throwing several options at the top of the order, not necessarily considering them as competition. The 16-strong squad has no fewer than five opening options. Dhawan aside, there are Rahul, Gill, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and even Sanju Samson, who has played a similar role in the IPL.

“With more fame, they have a lot of confidence,” Dhawan said of his younger colleagues. “Everyone is different. They have good techniques. The transition for the Indian team has been great thanks to the domestic cricket and IPL. Their confidence levels are high, which is why they blend into international cricket quite quickly. They are doing so well. We feel great that we have so many options, so it’s a very healthy sign for us.”

Dhawan felt that the next three-game series was also an opportunity for Zimbabwe to show their improvements as a team. “It’s good for world cricket that we play against each other,” he said. “It will give them confidence. Our young boys will have opportunities in different circumstances. Only by playing will Zimbabwe get better, especially against quality sides. That’s how they learn.”

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