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Shikhar Dhawan speaks about his aggressive approach on day 1

226   //    12 Aug 2017, 22:17 IST

Dhawan scored an enterprising 123-ball 119 on day one
Dhawan scored an enterprising 123-ball 119 on day one

What's the story?

Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan scored an aggressive 119 on day one of the third Test between Sri Lanka and India at Pallekele and admitted that the way he got out was just because of the way he plays. Dhawan added that the wicket was on the "slower side" and said that if you play "like a king, you will get out like a king".

Speaking at the press conference after day one, Dhawan said: "I tried to go out and express myself, I played my natural game and backed myself as much as possible.

"If you're playing like a king, you will get out like a king, if I played aggressively, I will get out aggressively," he said with a smile. "I know I am an aggressive batsman so I would rather get out that way (pull to square leg) than getting out in the slips and being defensive because that is not my natural game."

In case you didn't know...

India won the toss and elected to bat first in the final Test and ended the day on 329/6 on the back of a 188-run partnership for the opening wicket between Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. While Dhawan registered a century, Rahul finished 15 shy as Sri Lanka's spinners bounced back to restrict the rest of the Indian top-order.

The details

For the second consecutive Test, Dhawan scored a century but just as he was looking set for his maiden Test double century, he was dismissed attempting a rash shot that ended up going straight to the fielder at square leg.

When asked about his approach, even as he was approaching his hundred, he added that if he saw that he could hit any bowler then he goes after him and was quick to add that his approach works sometimes and "sometimes it doesn't."

What's next?

Despite a massive opening partnership on day one that seemed to have taken the game away from Sri Lanka, the spinners have brought them back and India have just scored over 300, with the ball starting to turn viciously. They will be looking to bowl India out cheaply and then ensure that they don't face a whitewash.

Author's take

Although Murali Vijay and Rahul are the established opening pair for India in Tests, recurring injuries to both players have given Dhawan an opportunity that he has taken with both hands in the series so far. Two centuries in three matches, including his career-best Test score just highlights how consistent he has been.

While the way in which he got out was a bit rash, it was his aggressive approach that helped India get the upper hand on a pitch that is already starting to take turn even at the end of day one.

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