Exclusive: ‘Building a strong team bond is…’ – Shikhar Dhawan reveals how he plans to lead Punjab Kings in IPL 2024 | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Shikhar Dhawan has had a successful career in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception. Starting his IPL career in the inaugural season in 2008 with the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), Shikhar Dhawan is known for his stylish strokeplay, ability to anchor the innings, and knack for scoring runs consistently.
Dhawan is the second highest all-time leading run scorer in the tournament, showcasing his value as a dependable opener.He has amassed 6617 runs from 217 IPL matches at an average of 35.39, which included two hundreds and 50 fifties.
Throughout his IPL career, Dhawan has been recognized for his aggressive yet elegant batting style, solid technique that has helped him to contribute significantly to the teams he has represented.
Speaking exclusively to TimesofIndia.com, Dhawan revealed how he plans to lead Punjab Kings in the upcoming season of the IPL. The left-handed batter also explains how he handles pressure situations during important matches, how he adapts to different formats of cricket and what makes a successful team captain.
Excerpts:
Your thoughts on being the second highest all-time leading run scorer in the IPL…
The feeling of being the second-highest run-scorer in the IPL is one of accomplishment and pride for any cricketer. Achieving such a position in a highly competitive and widely watched cricket league like the IPL reflects consistent performance, skill, and a significant contribution as an opener. I feel as an opener I have a sense of responsibility to maintain or improve my performance each time.
I made my IPL debut in the inaugural season in 2008 with the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). Since then I have represented Delhi Capitals (2008, 2019-21), Mumbai Indians (2009-10), Deccan Chargers (2011-12), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2013-18), and now Punjab Kings (2023-present) and am looking forward to the 2024 season.

Shikhar Dhawan STATS

As captain of the Punjab Kings, how do you plan to lead your team in the next season of the IPL?
I will be focusing on emphasizing team unity and camaraderie, building a strong team bond is essential for success. I will also develop a clear strategy for both batting and bowling and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the squad and plan match strategies accordingly. Not just that, I will also ensure effective utilization of players based on their strengths and the match conditions. And will also rotate the squad to keep players fresh and maintain a balanced team throughout the tournament.

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As captain of the Punjab Kings, how do you foster team spirit and camaraderie within the squad?
Clear and effective communication plays a pivotal role. A proficient captain possesses the ability to articulate thoughts clearly, actively engage in listening to teammates, and promote open communication within the team. This involves offering constructive feedback, providing instructions, and addressing conflicts. A team captain should naturally embody leadership qualities, inspiring and motivating teammates. They establish the team’s atmosphere, both during activities and in other contexts, by exemplifying a robust work ethic, a positive mindset, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

How do you handle pressure situations during important matches?
Effectively managing pressure situations in critical matches is a vital skill for athletes across various sports. From the point of view of a batsman, I always prioritize preparation as confidence is cultivated through thorough preparation. I engage in intensive practice sessions and recreate high-pressure scenarios during training to acclimate myself to the associated feelings.
Rather than fixating on the enormity of the situation, I direct my attention to the immediate task and deconstruct the game or scenario into smaller, manageable components, focusing on the execution of each step.

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(BCCI Photo)

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How do you adapt your game for different formats of cricket?
Tailoring your playing approach to different cricket formats requires adjustments in playing style, strategies, and mindset to meet the unique demands of each format.
Given Test cricket’s extended duration, patience becomes paramount. Batsmen must sustain their presence at the crease for prolonged periods, while bowlers need to concentrate on maintaining consistent lines and lengths.
ODIs call for a delicate equilibrium between quick scoring and building partnerships. Batsmen often adopt a more aggressive approach, while bowlers concentrate on containment and taking wickets at critical junctures.
T20 cricket demands a bold and inventive batting style. Batsmen frequently employ aggressive shots, including scoops, ramps, and switch-hits, to score rapidly.

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(BCCI Photo)
What do you think makes a successful team captain?
I am honored to lead both the Indian national team and the Punjab Kings IPL team. A captain’s success hinges on a blend of leadership traits, interpersonal abilities, and a profound comprehension of the respective sport or activity.
The pivotal characteristics that play a role in making a successful captain are setting an example, motivational aptitude, building respect and trust, effective conflict resolution, embracing a team player mindset, demonstrating adaptability.
A captain’s love for the sport and unwavering commitment to the team’s triumph are infectious, fostering inspiration and motivating teammates to give their utmost.
Captains should possess an in-depth understanding of the sport or activity, encompassing rules, strategies, and tactics. This knowledge equips them to make well-informed decisions and contribute significantly to the team’s achievements.

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(BCCI Photo)
You turned 38 last week, please share your secret of being amazingly fit at this age.
Staying fit at 38 involves a combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and healthy lifestyle choices. Engage in a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies. Set achievable fitness and health goals. This can help you stay motivated and focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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(BCCI Photo)





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