Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India opener Shikhar Dhawan has announced that he is ready to take on Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson.
Dhawan’s comments come after Johnson, who was recently named International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricketer of the Year and Test cricketer of the Year, took 37 wickets in the last Ashes series against England at an unbelievable average of 13.97 and 22 wickets in the three-Test series against South Africa at an impressive average of 17.36.
“I feel that you need an aggressive opener in today’s cricket which can turn things around,” Dhawan said. “So that will be a very good thing for us. And I would love to play that role.
“Of course he’s one of the best bowlers in the world. He has got really good pace and we have prepared for that pace.
“I have faced him lots of times back in India but I will be facing him for the first time in Australia so it’s going to be a good challenge and I’m going to enjoy the challenge.”
Dhawan has not been in the best of form as of late as he only averaged 20.33 in the recent five-Test series against England. This has led to numerous pundits and former players questioning whether he deserves to keep his spot in the side.
Responding to his critics, Dhawan said: “That is their thinking and their point of view. I am always open for change for the betterment of my game…like in England. I couldn’t score much runs so that was a good learning curve for me. And it made me a better player. I always finds lots of positives in my failures too.”
Dhawan also admitted that he and his opening partner, Murali Vijay, have to start setting a solid foundation in order to ensure the other batsmen are not under pressure when they walk out to bat.
As of right now, Dhawan and Vijay’s highest opening partnership outside of India is 49.
“We haven’t done it, (but that) doesn’t mean that we cannot do it,” Dhawan said.
Vijay agreed with Dhawan’s comments, and said: “We are really confident in each other’s game. Both the teams are going to be hoping on the starts because of the conditions and the wickets – whichever team gets a better start is going to be having an advantage.”