Dhawan ready for SA challenge
Shikhar Dhawan believes the experience of playing top fast bowlers in the IPL and the recent ODI series against Australia is likely to hold the Indian batsmen in good stead in South Africa.
"Indian players now have the belief that if they can perform against them [fast bowlers] in the IPL, they can surely perform against them while playing for India as well," Dhawan said. "The good is thing is that when you are playing against the likes of Australia, you are facing quality fast bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and others. We know what awaits us, but we are confident of doing well. I am looking forward to playing on bouncy tracks."
Dhawan announced his entry to Test cricket with a swashbuckling century against the Australian attack in Mohali and has been in prolific form all year. In his only innings against the South African bowling attack - during the Champions Trophy in England - he scored 114 runs to set up an India win. One of his most significant innings this year, however, came while playing for India A when he plundered 248 in a List-A game in South Africa in August.
"I went to South Africa before and performed well," he said. "So, you have the advantage of having played on these pitches and the confidence is there because of the good performances. The pitches there will be good. It will be helpful for the bowlers and batsmen will also enjoy playing on the bouncy tracks. Our preparation will be according to the pitch."
Dhawan added that although the lack of preparation ahead of an important tour is not ideal, the team will hope to adjust to conditions quickly.
"We have been playing so much cricket that we don't get much time for preparation. Like now, we have got just three days off. I guess the boys need that rest and [need to] get out the cricket mode for these 2-3 days at least. Before playing the first match there we will have a few days of preparation on those pitches to get used to it. So not playing a practice match shouldn't be a problem."