IND vs WI 2022, 3rd ODI: Shikhar Dhawan lauds young Indians' character after clean clinical sweep
India rout Windies by 119 runs (D/L method) in the final ODI in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday. As India registered a clean sweep, skipper Shikhar Dhawan lauded the young Indians.
Stand-in Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan felt a complete performance from Team India that a captain could ask for and conveyed that the young Indians "showed character and turned challenges into opportunities" as his side registered a 3-0 clean sweep against the Windies. The Men in Blue raced through to clinch a dominating 115-run win in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, via Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in a rain-marred tie. Dhawan is also the first-ever Indian skipper to lead a whitewash against the Windies away from home, thanks to opener Shubman Gill's sublime and career-best 98.
"I am very proud of the team, the way we have played the whole series. In every match, we showed character and turned the challenges into great opportunities. I am happy the way everyone has performed and chipped in," Dhawan declared during the post-match press conference.
"I feel this was a complete performance I can get as a captain. I am pleased and content. Whatever I asked from the boys, they did it," added Dhawan. The Indian batters were all guns blazing against the Windies, with the likes of Gill, Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, and Axar Patel shining bright.
"I am delighted with my batting because I could feel how I hit the shots. With some much experience, I know how to play with calmness. I feel good when I handle pressure with more calmness now," said Dhawan, who finished as the series's highest run-scorer with 168 runs after Gill (205).
"There are only positives from the team's perspective. Everyone made runs in the batting unit, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju, and Axar. It's an excellent sign for any batting unit. They are all youngsters, and the way they responded in all matches is a big thing. And, in bowling, [Mohammed] Siraj, Prasidh [Krishna], Shardul [Thakur], Yuzi [Yuzvendra Chahal] is experienced. Axar also chipped in. Even Hooda bowled well too. The entire bowling unit also did well. It feels good to see both the units performing," reckoned Dhawan.
Dhawan devoted special praise for the 22-year-old Gill and compared the youngster's batting prowess with regular Indian skipper and opener Rohit Sharma. "He [Gill] has a perfect technique and is a very classy player. I think he has got a bit of a Rohit touch in him. He seems to have a lot of time the way he bats. Good to see that he scored 98 today. He knew how to convert those fifties into 90s," he said.
The skipper also praised Siraj and all-rounder Deepak Hooda for their bowling exploits. "Siraj is a quality bowler. His self-belief has increased a lot. He knows what he has to do. He backs himself. So, as a captain, it becomes easy for me. It feels good to see as a skipper that the boys know what to do. They know their responsibilities," explained Dhawan.
"I knew before the series that Deepak could perform the role of an all-rounder, and the way he responded in the first match, his confidence started to grow as a bowler. Not just a left-hander, he bowled well to right-handers as well. After the first match, we saw their left-handers face some problems against Deepak, so we decided to bowl him from the start as fast bowlers couldn't extract many swings," Dhawan presented.
Dhawan credited India's existing domestic structure, especially the Indian Premier League (IPL), for the growth of youngsters. "The ways the boys are responding, they are young but are pretty mature and sensible. They can handle the pressure quite nicely. Thanks to our domestic structure and IPL, the transition to international cricket becomes relatively easy because of that exposure. Hats off to all the boys. They have been very disciplined and quite practical," he concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)