Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 5 (ANI): Ahead of his team's first ODI against South Africa, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan said that the series is a nice exposure for everyone ahead of the 2023 50-over World Cup and it is important that he plays as many matches as possible ahead of the global cricketing event.

The first ODI of the three-match series between India and South Africa will be held in Lucknow on Thursday.

"This series is a good exposure ahead of the 2023 World Cup. Youngsters will get more exposure playing against a great team. There are benefits all around. It will increase their experience and confidence. They have been doing well. They will learn from their mistakes as they play more. It is important for me to play as much as possible ahead of the World Cup," said Dhawan in a pre-match press conference.

Dhawan said that the whole team has practised well for the past two days and everyone is in a good groove and mindset.

"This team is good. We have played with most of these boys in the West Indies and Zimbabwe. One or two new players have come into the team. There is a good tuning between everyone. There is great energy in new boys, they are confident," he added.

The left-hander lauded the T20I squad that won the series against South Africa by 2-1.

"I am sure that they will do well in T20 World Cup. The squad selected is the best BCCI could have chosen. My best wishes are with them," he added.

On Team India's recent death over bowling issues, Dhawan said that a lot of runs were scored by both the teams in the final two T20Is and conditions need to be kept in mind.

"It depends on the pitch, whether dew was there or not. It is difficult for bowlers when dew is there because the ball gets wet. In this weather, dew comes anyways. But one keeps learning. When we have meetings, we watch videos of the opponent, plan and discuss before the match," he added.

Dhawan said that he tries to give a nice environment to the youngsters so that they can be themselves and communicate better with support staff and others.

"I try to keep the atmosphere happy and relaxed as it helps performance. I share my experiences with them as to what to do in a certain situation. I learn a lot from them too. It is always give and take," he added.

The veteran left-hander said that he feels blessed to have had such a great career and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the youngsters.

"New responsibilities create new energy in me, I am able to see my potential and explore myself. I am enjoying my journey," he added.

India squad against South Africa: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shreyas Iyer (VC), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubhman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Mohd. Siraj, Deepak Chahar. (ANI)

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