Shikhar Dhawan finds himself out of the Indian team less than three months after captaining the ODI side but the 37-year-old opener has not yet given up on a strong desire to play the World Cup at home later this year.
One of the finest openers India have produced in the 50-over format, Dhawan was dropped from the side following a lean run which included the three games in Bangladesh in December.
The southpaw had led the side in New Zealand in November when Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were rested.
Shubman Gill came into the team at Dhawan’s expense and the young opener has not looked back ever since, amassing four hundreds, including a double hundred in his last seven innings.
Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the inaugural Formula E race in India, the ever optimistic Dhawan looked back at ups and downs of the last three months.
“They (ups and downs) are part of life. With time, with experience you learn how to handle them with ease. I find lot of strength in them. I did my best. If somebody is doing better than my best, that is fine.
“That is why that person is there and I am not there. I am very happy and content wherever I am. I make sure my process goes on strong. Of course there is always a chance of me coming back to the side.
“If it comes it is good, if it doesn’t come that is also good. I have achieved a lot and I am happy with that. Whatever has to come will come. I don’t get desperate about it,” said Dhawan, who has played 34 Tests, 167 ODIs and 68 T20s.
With his last Test coming in 2018 and T20 International in 2021, Dhawan had become a one-format player until his exclusion from the ODI set up.
His immediate focus is on the upcoming IPL in which he will be captaining Punjab Kings for the first time.
Dhawan has returned from a 10-day training stint at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. In another week’s time, he will be in Mohali for a pre-IPL camp with Punjab Kings.
`”My IPL preparation is going on well. I was in Bangalore for 10 days. The focus was on fitness. With the IPL coming up, I will join the camp in Mohali from Feburary 24 and then we regroup again later on and get going.
“I am in a very good state of mind and looking forward to leading from the front,” he said.
During the Fomrula E weekend in Hyderabad, Dhawan also got to catch up with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, whose passion for cars and motorsport is well-known.
Talking about his first time at a Formula E race, he added: “It is always lovely to meet Sachin paaji. He has got great passion towards sports cars.
“It was a great experience. I took a lap of the track. I see lot of potential for Formula E in India as it is sustainable and promotes a healthy environment. Since it is organised mainly on public roads, it should gather a lot of ground in India.”