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Shikhar Dhawan will win you games as long he’s in this happy zone, says Virat Kohli

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 20-08-2017
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Shikhar Dhawan has been chasing in on his purple patch and the last three months have been great for the Indian opener who has performed in both Tests and one-day international, captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli said after Dhawan guided India to another victory with a century against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

"The last three months have been a great time for Dhawan and he's cashing in on his purple patch. Hopefully he stays in this happy zone and we'll make sure he stays there, because he will win you games as long he's in it. Once he starts going, it's very difficult to stop him," Kohli said.

Set a target of 217, India rode on Dhawan's century which came off just 71 balls. India chased down the target in just 28.5 overs. Sri Lanka were off to a good start making 139 for one wicket in 25 overs before a collapse saw them being bowled out for 216.

"They got off to a really good start. We thought we would chase close to 300, it was a good pitch to bat on. The point of batting second was that it would come on later in the day. It came on like a dream." he said.

Talking about the 2019 World Cup, Kohli said that they need to prepare from now and they won't mind experimenting. He also said that there will be lot of changes in the playing XI of the team.

"Yes (we have our eyes set on 2019) . You have to prepare 24 months in advance. We're going to experiment and embrace that. You can [expect to] see a lot of changes [from now on]. All the guys have bought into it. it's all about what gives us more balance. Start of the series it's about getting the batting right.

"Axar brings something with the bat and he's a gun fielder. We felt one wrist-spinner was enough. In another match, we might bring in a pacer or play three spinners. It's all about getting the balance," he said on dropping Kuldeep Yadav.

Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga also said that his team got off to a good start and should have capitalised on it but failed to do so.

"We started really well and after that we didn't capitalise. The middle order collapsed. One stage, we were thinking of 300. If you want to score 300 in an ODI, someone has to get a big score. We have to learn from the mistakes. The main thing is someone has to get a big one. The bowling also has to become more consistent," he said.

Dhawan, who got the man-of-the-match award for his unbeaten 132, said that he wanted to play positive and focus on the process. He was playing the ball to its merit.

"Things have been going well for me and I've just been focussing on my processes. I have mental freedom and when you perform well, you have extra confidence. By the grace of god, things are going my way. Just wanted to play positively and on the merit of the ball today." he said.

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