New Delhi: When Shikhar Dhawan smashed his way to the record book with a breathtaking knock of 248 against South Africa A at Pretoria last month, he had no idea that it was the second highest List A individual score in cricket history.
“On many occasions, I dreamt of scoring a double hundred in one-day cricket and that’s that. I was happy that I could score a double century, which was previously made by Sachin bhai (Tendulkar), and Viru bhai (Virender Sehwag) for India.
“Only later did I come to know it was the second highest score (behind 268 by former Surrey batsman Alistair Brown against Glamorgan at the Oval, in 2002). I was surprised but felt happy with my achievement,” Dhawan said on the sidelines of a promotional on Tuesday.
Dhawan’s innings for India A proved to be a match-winning one as he hit 30 boundaries and seven sixes. “I am now a matured batsman and more consistent,” he said.
The 27-year-old Delhi left-hander admitted there had been a huge change in his life since scoring the fastest century on Test debut (187), against Australia at Mohali.
“Till a few months back, I was an ordinary cricketer, playing domestic cricket. I had lots of time for myself. But now I have become sort of a celebrity….I like it, I always wanted to be a good cricketer and score lots of runs,” he added with a smile.
The opener, however, was quick to point out that his current fame was the result of hard work for many years. “Whatever I have achieved in the last six months is the fruit of the hard work of the past 16-17 years,” he said.
Asked what changes he had made to his technique, Dhawan said: “There was no change in my technical approach. It remained the same. You should also note that I was in very good form in domestic cricket.
“I think what helped was my hunger for runs. I was eager to score because I knew I could score at the highest level. My mental strength and shot selections also helped me. It was an enriching experience. I loved playing cricket from childhood. So, I enjoy things a lot while playing with the world’s best players in top class cricket.”
In South Africa, Dhawan is confident India will emerge winners. “We have a good young team. Our fielding is very impressive. Given our batting and bowling strength, I see no reason why India cannot win the series there,” he opined.
Asked to compare Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Virat Kohli as captain, Dhawan said: “Dhoni has been leading India for a long time, he is very experienced and one of the best. Virat is also a good captain but he is young and new. The two should not be compared.”