Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has been out of the national squad from past couple of months and is playing with less pressure and enjoying his cricket since then. The proof of the same can be taken from his performance in the Deodhar Trophy, where he was the second highest run-scorer (223 runs in three matches at 74.33) of the tournament behind Dinesh Karthik.
However, Dhawan's most recent international innings against England in January, where he made 1 and 11 in the first two ODIs aren’t pretty pleasing one for the audience. After that, he decided to return to the domestic circuit in order to regain form, but runs remained elusive initially.
Dhawan has now no opportunities left before India's title defense of the Champions Trophy in June in order to make a comeback into the national squad. One can’t forget that the last time when India won the Champions trophy, Dhawan was the highest run-getter in the tournament and he must be looking forward to a comeback this time.
During a chat with ESPNcricinfo, Dhawan said, "Waqt ne mujhe sahi kar diya (Time has helped sort things out for me. I didn't really worry too much about what I needed to do. I just went in and enjoyed myself. I was more relaxed this time. Actually, I enjoyed my cricket more in these [last] few months because there was less pressure on me and I was free.”
He further added, "Of course, you want to put on partnerships, say a 50-run partnership that will stabilize the team. Once you spend time, the flow starts coming, and I am that kind of batsman who makes runs quickly once I am in the flow."
Despite the fact that Dhawan’s batting average in ODIs is 57.40 in 2016, his twin failures against England resulted in him dropped for the final ODI of the series. He feels that the impact of his consecutive low scores in Tests was felt in the others. He said, "When you aren't in good form, there is always pressure on you to make runs in international cricket regardless of the format. If you look at ODIs, I had played only two matches after the Australia series, and then I was dropped from the playing XI. I feel that the flow that is there - like, when I was doing well, I was playing all the three formats. When I wasn't scoring runs, the flow naturally got affected."
Dhawan played his last test against New Zealand in Kolkata last September where he made 1 and 17. Talking about his poor form at that time, Dhawan said, "In fact, I was putting all my efforts into getting back to form. I felt very proud of myself for continuing to bat with a fractured hand against New Zealand. I stood there for my team. Playing with a broken hand when I was not among the runs was a very satisfying moment for me. So I cherish it."
The ‘Gabbar’ of Indian team concluded by talking about his chances of making a comeback into teh national squad, he said, “For me to return to the team, I have to stay positive and happy. That's the only way I can climb up the ladder again. Of course, I am happy for those who are doing well in India, but I want to return to the Indian team because I know I have got the ability to play international cricket for a long time. I want to keep performing well in the IPL as well and try to win another IPL title for Sunrises Hyderabad."