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Not going to let this chance go: Shikhar

New Delhi: Consistency has always been a problem with Shikhar Dhawan since his first-class debut back in 2004 but after his maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad, the Delhi left-hander is determined not to let this chance go begging.

“I can’t blame anyone for not being able to cement my place in the India squad when I was touring West Indies last year. I wasn’t consistent enough and that’s why couldn’t play more than five ODIs. I guess, it’s all in the mind and I am not going to let this opportunity go,” the 27-year-old said.

Dhawan has played five ODIs scoring 69 runs with a half-century that came in the West Indies.

“No excuses for not delivering but pitches in West Indies were extremely slow and the ball wasn’t coming onto the bat. I should have scored more runs,” Dhawan, who has scored 5,679 runs in 81 first-class matches, said.

However, he said that he was expecting a call-up having scored four first-class centuries in his 833 runs this season.

“While going into the Irani Cup, I didn’t want to think about selection as I had done in some earlier occasions while playing these kind of games before a team selection.

“I batted freely and should have got a century. But the key to my success this season is my consistency. I have not thrown away after getting into the 30s and 40s.”

Dhawan feels that his unbeaten century (110 not out) against England in a practice game also helped his case.

“If you score runs against an international attack, the self-belief automatically increases. I didn’t face problems facing Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker or James Tredwell. That innings also boosted my confidence a great deal.”

During the 2010-11 season, Dhawan had played an irresponsible shot as Delhi were chasing a meagre 136 against Railways at Roshnara Club ground and the hosts lost that match.

“I had never faced such criticism as I did after that game. But that dismissal did change my approach towards batting. Therefore, it was very satisfying when I anchored the 270-run chase against Maharashtra. I know my game better,” he said.

A lot of Dhawan’s contemporaries, like Suresh Raina, have established themselves in one form of the game, but the left-hander doesn’t have any regrets. “I have been playing for India ‘A’ for the past six-seven years, but I knew that the senior team was performing brilliantly. If your main team is doing well, you need to learn to wait and I was precisely doing that.”

Dhawan, who got married a couple of months back to Esha Mukherjee, also acknowledges his family’s support.

“Apart from my parents and coach Tarak Sinha, my wife has been a big support and so has been my two daughters. My elder daughter is 11 years old and she told me that ‘Papa I am proud of you’. That means the world to me,” said Dhawan. (Agencies)