Delhi Capitals opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan played a key role in the side's victory in its first match of the 2021 IPL season against Chennai Super Kings. Forging a 138-run opening stand with Prithvi Shaw in merely 13.1 overs, Dhawan scored 85 off 54 deliveries and was named the Man of the Match in the game.
In the post-match press conference, Dhawan said that he anticipated the deliveries CSK bowlers would target him with, and insisted that he was prepared to take them on.
"You need to play shots according to the field, so I knew CSK will keep the square leg and fine leg inside the circle and covers on the boundary. So I played my shots according to that. I anticipated they will bowl wide yorkers, so I wanted to use the pace," Dhawan said.
The Capitals secured a seven-wicket win, with the side's new captain Rishabh Pant hitting the winning runs. Talking about the youngster's maiden captaincy assignment in the IPL, Dhawan said that it was Pant's first match and he is only going to improve.
"He did quite well. It was a sticky wicket, it was good that he batted second. He kept his calm, kept motivating the boys and made good changes as well. It was his first match as well, so he is only going to refine from here," said the left-handed opener.
"With the experience he is getting here, he is only going to get better. His presence of mind is quite there, which is good. As a senior, of course I give my advice to him."
Talking about his own batting, Dhawan said that he has not made any change in his approach. The batsman played at a strike-rate of 157.41 in the innings against CSK.
"There is no change in my approach. I have been playing like this for a long time now. I've been scoring runs at a good strike rate. I'm happy the way I'm going, been much more consistent. Of course, I look to improve. I'm happy and enjoying my game," said Dhawan."