India captain Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday said the upcoming three-match One-Day International series against South Africa will be a good platform for some of the players to prove their mettle ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys for India’s squad for the T20 World Cup, and the four players will also feature in the ODIs South Africa which begins in Lucknow on Thursday.
“Of course, it is very important because the more matches they (standby players) are going to play, they will be in better groove and better mindset,” said Dhawan. “If the boys perform well, then obviously the confidence will help them. Who knows they might get a chance so they can look at this series as preparation.”
The senior pro also said that youngsters in the squad like Rahul Tripathi, Rajat Patidar, Mukesh Kumar and Shahbaz Ahmed will get a good opportunity to make a mark in the ODIs against South Africa.
“If you look at the performance of our youngsters, the transition that happened that shows their confidence,” said Dhawan.
“The more they play they will get more experience, their confidence level will increase. They will learn from mistakes. Even for me as well. Keeping 2023 in mind, the more matches I play will be beneficial for me,” he added.
“The team is very good and with this team we played in West Indies and Zimbabwe. Most of the players are the same, there are one or two new players. We share a good tuning. The new boys have brought in new energy. They have bee doing well in the last few series.”
Dhawan has been one of the most consistent batters for India in the 50-over format over the past few years. The 36-year-old has scored 2315, 6647 and 1759 runs in 34 Tests, 158 ODIs and 68 T20Is respectively.
“I feel very blessed I had a beautiful career. I am really grateful. Whenever possible I pass on my knowledge to youngsters. Now there is new responsibility on me but I see opportunity in challenges and I enjoy it,” said the left-hander.
“My goal currently is the 2023 World Cup. I just want to keep myself fit and be in a good state of mind to be in fray.
“I try to give them such an environment where they can be themselves and open up. Thy can then communicate much better. I try to keep a happy, light environment and side by side I also share my experiences and even I learn a lot from them.”
India completed a 2-1 victory against the Proteas in the T20I series but Dhawan expects a tough fight from the visitors in the one-dayers.
“South Africa has a good team. Winning and losing are part of the game but it is important to learn from defeats. Both the teams made plenty of runs in the T20 series. It depends on pitch, dew factor and plenty of other factors,” said Dhawan.
“Whenever experiment happened that time the senior players were not there. They were given rest, need to manage their load otherwise there are chances of injuries. Whoever is made the captain he is the most senior-most players and capable for the job,” he added.
Quotes courtesy PTI