While Dhawan has remained in good touch, his opening partner Prithvi Shaw has struggled with form so far. The youngster has failed to breach the two-figure mark in five of his last six games for the Capitals and his record against MI this season fails to ooze confidence – in two innings, he has registered scores of 4 and 10.
However, Dhawan has backed Shaw, saying that he needs to trust his ability.
“He’s timing the ball very nicely and hit 3-4 boundaries the other day, so my advise to him would be to stay calm, to stay positive,” Dhawan said in a virtual press conference ahead of the Qualifier 1 against Mumbai Indians, scheduled for Thursday.
“I think he just needs to believe in himself and trust his ability and his process – I’m sure he will get through this and perform well going forward.”
Dhawan also said that their losses in the last few games have been a learning and that he doesn’t believe Mumbai Indians have an upper hand tomorrow. “You always learn from the bad phase. It is important to trust in your skills and back your ability,” said Dhawan.
“I don’t think they have an upper hand. We’ve got a quality team and we know we can beat any team. We just have to play good cricket and have to be very clear with our plans. I believe if we manage to do that, we can certainly win.”
Shikhar Dhawan, along with Ajinkya Rahane, stepped up with the bat in the side’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, which laid the foundation for DC’s win. He said that Rahane’s presence in the middle order allows him some freedom.
“Yes, of course his presence allows me to play freely. He brings a lot of stability in the middle order, and day before yesterday, he played an amazing knock – it’s always an advantage when he is there in the side, and I can play more freely when he is on the other end,” said Dhawan.
Dhawan crossed the 500-run mark for the fourth time in his IPL career and said that he likes to play with intent and passion.
“I’ve been scoring over 500 for the past four years so all should be best – but this season, I’ve also scored two centuries and had two ducks – which is something that I’ve never done before. But the key for me is to maintain my form and help my team. For me, all seasons are good – I always play with good intent and passion,” said Dhawan.
Commenting on what Head Coach Ricky Ponting brings to the table, Dhawan said, “Having him as coach is a huge advantage. He always backs us with everything, and gives us clarity in difficult situations. He’s always ready for open chats – he would ask for feedback about the coaching staff also – to get the best out of the team. So he’s got great communication with all of us – not just the playing XI, but everyone, and he’s been really fantastic for us.”
Talking about the opposition, Dhawan insisted that the Capitals will be looking to take advantage of Rohit Sharma’s recent return. The MI captain only made his return to playing XI last night against SRH after missing a significant number of games due to a hamstring injury.
“Rohit is a very good player, and yes he hasn’t played many matches so I’m not sure about his touch, and that means that we can definitely take advantage of it. My best wishes to him, but yes as opponents, we can take advantage of that for sure and make plans accordingly,” said Dhawan.
In their last match, the MI bowling attack posed trouble for Delhi Capitals as they restricted the side to merely 110/9 in 20 overs. The side’s two premier bowlers, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets each.
When asked if he has got any special plans for the duo, Dhawan said, “At the moment, I’m just relaxing and keeping myself fresh for tomorrow. I’ve seen them plenty of times – have watched the videos and I already know their plans, so I am prepared, and will just go out there tomorrow and perform,” said the 34-year-old.