Antigua, July 22 (IANS) He had two fruitful partnerships — 60 with Cheteshwar Pujara, followed by 105 with centurion Virat Kohli — and now opener Shikhar Dhawan wants his skipper to get a double ton when India come out to bat on the second day of the first Test against the West Indies here on Friday.
India ended the opening day at a comfortable 302/4 with Kohli (143 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (22 not out) going strong with a 66-run unbeaten stand for the fifth wicket at the Sir Viv Richards stadium here on Thursday.
Earlier, Dhawan, who guided India to safety with a well-compiled 84 after a shaky start, looked all set to score a century before being dismissed on 84. But he is satisfied to have started the series on a good note and wants Kohli to bat longer on Friday.
“I felt disappointed that I got out especially when I was set and scoring runs. I had spent enough time out there in the middle and came so close to scoring a hundred,” he told reporters after the first day’s play.
“At the same time, I am happy that I started on a good note and would like to carry on my good performances in coming matches. I want to use the form I am in.”
“He (Kohli) played a tremendous knock and continued scoring after his hundred. Hopefully, he scores big runs and gets a double hundred. It feels good to bat with him and we were rotating the strike and scoring runs at a good pace.”
“I feel that made a difference because we made the partnership very quickly. That is a good thing and it is always a pleasure to watch Virat, the way he times the ball,” added Dhawan.
Comparing the two partnerships, the Delhi southpaw said: “My partnership with Pujara was also important because the ball was new at that time and it was important to leave the balls outside the off-stump at that time.”
“The middle-order got benefit of that because the ball was older and my partnership with Virat benefitted from that. We scored at good pace and it impacted the game. Virat has been batting really well which is not new.”
“We are in a good position especially because we are playing with only five batsmen. So we will want to bat as long as possible tomorrow and that will also tire them out. Good thing is that we have Virat well set and batting. Maybe he will score a double ton, or even a triple century,” Dhawan added.
Acknowledging that opening an innings is the toughest job, Dhawan thanked Kohli and new coach Anil Kumble for backing him when reports of the in-form Lokesh Rahul replacing him in the playing XI surfaced.
“Opening is the toughest job and you need a big heart for it, when facing the new ball on a new (fresh) wicket. Bowlers also bowl with full energy and as opener your technique should also be good because you have to leave a lot of balls and you need patience as well”.
“I feel it is important for any player if the captain and the coach are backing you and it gives a lot of confidence. That’s what matters and you also need to have self-belief that you can do that and it is a mixture of everything,” he said.