Indians ready for Australian challenge: Dhawan

Perth, Jan 9 (IANS) Having got himself into the groove with a half-century in a warm-up match, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan asserted that the visitors are all geared up to give the Australians a tough fight during the upcoming limited-overs series.

Dhawan, who was in woeful form during the home series against South Africa late last year, smashed 74 off 44 balls as the tourists defeated Western Australia XI by 74 runs here.

“It was a good time to get into the groove with another batsman and good to get a 100-run partnership before the main matches starts. Whatever we needed out of this practice game, we got it, so we are happy about that,” Dhawan was quoted as saying by the Australia media on Saturday.

“Of course we are quite pumped up and we are preparing well. We are just going to keep working hard and keep ourselves calm and focused for the matches to come. Even if they were there still we would have still done what we have to do. We just focus on what we have to do and whatever we are going to face over the coming matches from their side, we are going to take it as it comes,” he added.

The Indian bowlers also did well with left-arm spinners Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja the pick of the lot, notching up identical figures of 2/13 from three overs. More importantly, uncapped fast bowler Barinder Singh Sran showed promise, recovering from a nervous start to pick up two top order wickets in his first match on Australian soil.

Dhawan was impressed with Sran’s performance and felt that the 23-year-old from Punjab has brightened his chances of making his international debut during the tour.

“I feel it was a great boost for him, getting wickets at his first practice game. He’s going to get (more) mature and he’s going to get experience. He looks very fit and strong and a very good prospect for the Indian team,” Dhawan said.

The Indians are due to play five One Day Internationals and three Twenty20s during their Australia tour.

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