Shikhar Dhawan’s sensational run of form continued with the batsman scoring his 11th ODI century to seal a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first match of the series on Sunday.
The left-hander struck an unbeaten 132 at the Dambulla International Stadium to maintain his domination over the hapless Sri Lanka bowlers. It was his third century on the tour, after scoring 190 and 119 in the Test series sweep.
The 31-year-old suffered a form slump to go out of the team during the long home series, but has hardly put a step wrong since the ICC Champions Trophy.
Shikhar, who smashed 187 on Test debut, a record, against Australia in Mohali four years ago, said he has tried to repeat things he did in that knock, which worked in his Galle century this time (190) as well as in Dambulla.
“I would say the way I played in my debut, and the Galle match, I played quite similarly. I am trying to keep repeating the same mantra for myself,” he said after the match.
Shikhar said motivation to keep performing was no problem. “I would like to keep performing well. That would be my goal because if I don’t perform, there are such great batsmen in our side that anyone can take the place.
“The second thing is I would like to keep my fitness on a high level because all the young boys are there. I like to keep myself fit (considering) the pace of the game.”
“The way I played in the 2013 Champions Trophy and again when I came back and played in this Champions Trophy, I was playing with the same flow.”
Back from slump
Asked whether concerns of a slump cross his mind, Shikhar said he had just recovered from one, referring to his being dropped from the side during the home season.
The Sri Lankan bowlers cut a sorry figure, and ageing spearhead Lasith Malinga ended wicketless on his 200th ODI. However, Shikhar did not agree when asked if it was the worst attack he had faced.
“He (Malinga) has been a legend for Sri Lankan cricket. He has done great in international cricket in all formats. He is a bit old now and with time I feel his pace has gone down a bit, that’s why we can attack more. This is natural because he has played so much cricket. It’s just a cycle, life cycle, that’s what I feel.”