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  5. Aap Ki Adalat | Shikhar Dhawan opens up on sleepless night before India debut

Aap Ki Adalat | Shikhar Dhawan opens up on sleepless night before India debut

In a conversation with India TV Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma in Aap Ki Adalat, Shikhar Dhawan recalled memories of the sleepless night before his international debut for the Indian cricket team.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: September 29, 2019 9:35 IST
Aap Ki Adalat | Shikhar Dhawan opens up on sleepless night before India debut

Aap Ki Adalat | Shikhar Dhawan opens up on sleepless night before India debut

Shikhar Dhawan's debut didn't go down as it was planned but it is something that he remembers vividly even after nine years.

Dhawan was set to make his debut against Australia in Kochi but the game was called off due to rain but the night before, he had little sleep and the left-hander recalled it during a candid conversation with TV's Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, Rajat Sharma in the show, 'Aap Ki Adalat'. 

"When I was about to make my debut, I was switching sides the night before and couldn't sleep. My dream was to play for India and now I have reached there. So I could not sleep all night. As I could not sleep all night,  I was getting worried about how the energy would last all day. When I woke up in the morning, it was raining and the match was cancelled. 

"Then I took a sleeping pill to sleep the night before the next match," Dhawan recalled.

But, when the debut finally came, it wasn't rosy either.

Following the washout, Dhawan finally got his chance to play for India but this time, he fell for a two-ball duck to Clint McKay in Visakhapatnam, when he was cleaned up by the Aussie pacer.

"When I got out for 0 on my ODI debut, I went back laughing. It was disappointing because I imagined myself scoring a century," Dhawan recalled when asked about nerves ahead of his ODI debut.

The 33-year-old was dropped following the second ODI and it took him six months to come back into the fold and was left out again following four games against West Indies in the Caribbean islands. The southpaw scored 69 runs from four games including a fifty but was once again shown the door. After that, he returned to the ODI squad in the Champions Trophy in 2013 and since then, has been a regular in the limited-overs squad.

However, the snub didn't deter him. For him, it was always about playing the game to his fullest and enjoying life. 

"When I played in 2010, I was out after one or two games but I have never seen struggle as such in my life and during that time I enjoyed my cricket and had fun with the boys. I focused on my cricket, fitness and was hopeful that my time will come," Dhawan said when asked by a fan if he ever faced struggles in life.

Dhawan, who hails from West Delhi, also opened up on his childhood and what made him realise that he could become a cricketer.

"I used to sneak in bombs in letter-boxes. Sometimes, I would tear the letters and threw them in the drainage. Obviously, I was beaten by my parents after!"

"My father wanted me to study, but I was more of a sports buff."

"I was the youngest in the family, so my mother used to lock me in the house when she had to go out. But I always sneaked out of the house when my friends gathered to play cricket. Again, I was beaten by my mother when she came back," Dhawan said recalling his childhood pranks and how his parents would beat him up.

He went on to add that after a few failures, he finally got a break when some of the cricketers were declared over-age and made it count. Since then, he has consistently represented Delhi in age group and domestic level.

"I realized that I could seriously become a professional cricketer when I was selected for the Delhi U-16 team. I was dropped after two games, but the next year, I scored a lot of runs and realized that my future lies in cricket.

"In U-17, I played in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Since I had been a regular in the age-groups," Dhawan said.

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