New Delhi, Feb 11: 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 abegging.
"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 told PTI during an interview.
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 5679 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 30's and 40's."
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," the Delhi captain 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."