Mirpur. Veteran Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has been struggling to score runs of late, is working on his sweep shot and reverse hit as he prepares for next year’s ODI World Cup at home. Dhawan has managed only one half-century in the last nine matches and the 37-year-old batsman’s place in the team looks in jeopardy ahead of the World Cup. Shubman Gill, who was not included in the squad for the Bangladesh series, is being considered as a strong contender to open the innings with skipper Rohit Sharma in the World Cup.
Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid took part in a special practice session with Dhawan ahead of the second ODI against Bangladesh on Wednesday. More practice is good, Dhawan said on the eve of a do-or-die match for India. Playing these shots (sweep shots and reverse hits) helps in these situations. Even the World Cup will be held in India where spinners will make an impact, these shots will also help there. I enjoy playing such shots. It was good to practice in these conditions.
India have suffered in the power play of late as Dhawan has struggled to score runs. In the first ODI against Bangladesh, Dhawan scored seven off 17 balls as India were bowled out for 186 in 41.2 overs. Dhawan said that this is not the first time that we have lost the first match of the series. It is common. We know how to make a comeback in these situations. We are absolutely sure of returning.
Bangladesh’s score was 136 for nine at one stage but Mehandi Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman shared an unbroken 51-run partnership for the last wicket to take their team to the target. Dhawan said that it does not happen often but he batted very well. There is no doubt that Bangladesh played good cricket. He said that we have reviewed in which areas we need to improve. We will definitely make a bigger impact in the upcoming matches. We are very positive and looking forward to play the next match.
Dhawan said about spin all-rounder Washington Sundar that he has been doing really well since he made his comeback. Even in New Zealand he played a great innings and bowled well. He is a very good all rounder. An impact spinner and a useful batsman batting lower down the order. The more matches he plays, the better his game will improve.