India’s limited-overs opener Shikhar Dhawan, known for his energetic celebrations with the fans, believes cricket will be different without spectators in the stands once it resumes post the COVID-19 hiatus.
“I think it is no secret that sport will be different without the fans. For instance, I will now do my thigh-five celebrations looking towards the cameras so that the fans can watch me on TV instead,” Dhawan said while speaking to the Delhi Capitals’ Instagram handle during a live session on Wednesday.
With the IPL currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cricketers have had the chance to spend time with their families for a lengthy period, and Dhawan believes it has come as a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve looked at the pandemic as an opportunity to bond with my family. They were living in Australia, and there’s very little time I used to get with them, because of the constant travel and schedule,” he said.
“I am glad that I finally have the time to relax with them, and get closer to them. Even though I can’t wait to go out and play, I am not that sad that we are spending so much time indoors,” added the opener.
During his decade-long international career with the Indian team, the 34-year-old has had to serve time on the sidelines due to injuries or form, but he believes that keeping a positive approach has helped him.
“My will power is very strong, and injuries or failures don’t sadden me. I’m all about positive affirmations and positive energies because they help you in thinking about what you can do next to improve. I believe that courage is important, because you need to continue believing that you’re good enough, and keep the faith,” said Dhawan.
Over the years, Dhawan has gone on to form a formidable opening pair with Rohit Sharma, and believes that it has been down to their easy communication. “We’ve known each other from our U-19 days, and get along well both on and off the field. With him, communication has always been very easy, and that has reflected on the field. While batting in a match, if I’m facing a problem with something, I just walk across the pitch and talk to him,” he said.
“Even off the field, it is important to gel well with my opening partner, and all teammates for that matter. The Indian team is like a family, and we travel together for more than 200 days a year, so it makes it easier and important to bond well,” Dhawan added.
Commenting on his excellent record at ICC tournaments, the southpaw said: “I don’t really prepare separately for them. I’ve been lucky to peak just in time before World Cups and Champions Trophies. As a player, I prepare every day of the week, and I would like to perform well every day. I just feel very blessed that I’ve always been able to shine for my country in big tournaments,” he said.
Dhawan had returned to his hometown last season as he was brought in by the Delhi Capitals before the 2019 IPL season.
The left-hander played a vital role in the franchise’s good run of form, scoring 521 runs in 16 matches, but saw his team fall at the last hurdle. However, Dhawan said that he believes his team is closer to the IPL title than ever before.
“It was good to be back in Delhi after a few years, as this has always been my home and it is also where my heart is. I believe we have a very good team now, and the vision of winning the IPL is clearer than ever before,” said the Indian opener.
“I am sure we will win the IPL soon, and give the trophy to the fans of Delhi. They deserve it for the support they have always given to us,” he added.