He is easily been India’s most consistent ODI batter in last two years and at 36, all Shikhar Dhawan wants is to stay fit and play the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.

Dhawan has had a solid career, amassing 2315, 6647 and 1759 runs in 34 Test, 158 ODI and 68 T20 matches respectively.

Dhawan has captained the ODI team in Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe and will don the responsibility once again in the three-match ODI series against South Africa starting in Lucknow on Thursday.

“I feel very blessed I had a beautiful career. I am really grateful. Whenever possible I pass on my knowledge to youngsters. Now there is new responsibility on me but I see opportunity in challenges and I enjoy it,” the left-handed opener said on the eve of the series opener.

“My goal currently is the 2023 World Cup. I just want to keep myself fit and be in a good state of mind to be in the fray,” he added.

Talking about the ODI series starting on Thursday, Dhawan backed youngsters to shine.

“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 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.

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.

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