2022 was a great year for Shikhar Dhawan the skipper. One of the senior members of the Indian side, Dhawan saw his T20 stocks getting plummeted, but managed to maintain his relevance at the international stage by playing ODI cricket exclusively. He also became the captain and won the ODI series in West Indies and South Africa. But in between, he was dropped from the captaincy to accommodate KL Rahul. The incident happened during the Zimbabwe tour where he was named captain initially only to be substituted by KL Rahul.
Speaking ahead of the first match of the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, he revealed why Rahul was picked ahead of him and how he never felt ‘hurt’ by the selector’s decision.
“Bada accha sawal pucha apne(You have asked a great question). First off all, I am very fortunate that I had the opportunity to captain my side at this stage of my career. Coming back to Zimbabwe, KL Rahul was the vice-captain of the main team. When he came back from injury, it was in my mind that since he had to go and play Asia Cup, he might get an opportunity to captain the side in case Rohit Sharma gets injured. So, I thought, KL can get some experience leading the side in Zimbabwe,” he told the press.
“Never felt hurt. Because if something happens, it happens for good. I had the opportunity to lead the side against South Africa that too was bestowed upon me by the selectors,” he said when asked about any possible regret.
With the advent of social media, players nowadays face more abuse and haterade from fans. Addressing the issue of mental health, Dhawan said he ignores social media as things said there can stay with you for a long time.
“Ji han, ajkal social media me tariff badi hoti hai aur trolling bhi bahut hoti hai. (They praise you a lot and then they trash you a lot on social media). And we get used to it and at the same time a smart person wouldn’t scroll through the social media, because they know what things people are speaking about you. So, there is no need to look at social media.”
“Kyuki koi bhi baat agar aap dekho to wo apke andar rehti hai. Kabhi kabhi koi cheez undekhi kardo to zyada acchi hai.” (Sometimes, its better to ignore, it’s good for mental health.)
The 36-year-old came onto the scene back in 2004, but got consistent opportunity from 2013 onwards. He had to wait long to make a mark. Citing the examples of youngsters like Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda who are also going through a prolonged patch of warming the bench, Dhawan was asked if he gives them some personal advice in these dire times.
“Kabhi kabhi de deta hu, kabhi kabhi nahi bi deta. Agar ladke puchte hai to bata deta hu. (Sometimes, I do give them suggestion, but not all the time.)