Cardiff, June 7: Centurion Shikhar Dhawan has said he is happy that his 114 helped India win against South Africa in the Champions Trophy 2013 opener on Thursday (June 6).
Dhawan's 94-ball 114 was the highlight of India's batting innings as they posted 331/7 in 50 overs. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 305 in 50 overs.
Speaking to the media after the game, Dhawan spoke about his innings and how he planned his maiden ODI hundred knock.
Here are the excerpts
Question: Shikhar, describe your path in the innings, because it was a very crucial innings and India won because of the innings you played, since South Africa came very close at the end?
Shikhar Dhawan: Yeah, I'm really happy the way I played this innings, and more happy that my team got a win against South Africa, and looking forward for the coming matches.
Q: Without Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn was it a lot easier to face (the bowlers)?
Dhawan: Not really. Of course, Morne Morkel and all of their bowlers are well known bowlers on the international circuit, and they bowl at good pace too. But I guess we needed to be really sensible at the start, and then we got used to the pace of their bowling and played some good shots.
Q: Could you talk about opening with Rohit Sharma, and the kind of batsman he is and you are? Was it easier to complement each other?
Dhawan: Yeah, it was really nice playing with Rohit. I'm playing for the first time with him as an opener, and it was really good. Our combination really worked for us. Running between the wickets were really good, and our understanding was really good. And Rohit played some brilliant shots.
Q: Can you talk about the plan of the first 10 overs when you were 50 runs with no loss? Was there a plan that you wanted to score so many runs after the first half play and then move on?
Dhawan: No, we didn't have a plan to score that fast. But once we saw the nature of the wicket and once we got set on this kind of pitch, you end up scoring lots up front. And that's what happened with us. We both were playing on the merit of the ball and we were getting a lot of runs per over, yes.
Q: How is the space for you in your batting?
Dhawan: Just watch the ball and play the ball and enjoy watching my partners batting and enjoying running between the wickets and enjoy taking the pressure.
Q: Did you have a chat before this tournament started about how to go about these new rules? What was the idea? What was discussed?
Dhawan: Well, the new ball is from both ends. So our plans were to take it easy at the start because the new ball always does bounce a little bit more, so we wanted to take it easier from the start. Then once we get runs then we can always play shorter, and that's what we did.