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Shikhar Dhawan's doubters don't know cricket: Ravi Shastri

Alagappan V
14.04K   //    23 Feb 2015, 11:18 IST
Ravi Shastri with Indian coach Duncan Fletcher during a practice session 

Following Shikhar Dhawan’s stellar shows in India’s first two matches of the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, team director Ravi Shastri has lashed out at those who questioned the left-hander’s place in the playing XI in the build up to the tournament. The 29-year-old’s knocks of 73 and 137 set up the defending champions’ victories against Pakistan and South Africa respectively. 

Going into the second week of the World Cup, Dhawan leads the run scoring charts with 210 runs in 2 innings – which is in stark contrast to his performances in the Test series against Australia and the Carlton Mid ODI tri-series in December-January. 

‘Dhawan did everything right against Proteas’

Shastri, speaking after handing out a thrashing to Proteas at Melbourne yesterday, said: "I would say those people who were asking why Shikhar was there in (World Cup) squad, they don't know their cricket.

“He committed some mistakes during Test series against Australia. He got the starts but got out due to mistakes. But now against Pakistan and today, he was fabulous. He did everything right today, in his approach, shot selection."

Reserving special praise for India’s bowling and fielding efforts, Shastri said: "Fielding was fabulous, bowling also. You would think it was Australia or South Africa not Indian players fielding. But when Australia or South Africa does that, people sit up and say fabulous fielding, not in case of India. The same in bowling. When our three pacers were bowling 140km/h, people will not say what a fabulous bowling." 

‘India have won what matters’

The former Indian all-rounder also felt that India have managed to win the matches that matter, thereby brushing aside the team’s losses away from home last year. He said: "There were lots of cricket before this World Cup. We played great cricket in Test series against Australia which we lost 0-2. The guys were unlucky and the Test series could have been 1-1.

“Then there was the tri-series which not everyone gave much importance. But the itinerary of the tri-series was chalked out long time ago. So the players will have to play that also.

"But everybody knew that the World Cup was what matters. If India lost these two WC games, and won that bloody triangular instead, nobody would have cared. So we needed the break after the tri-series and the boys have come stronger." 

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