Delhi Capitals (DC) batsman Shikhar Dhawan deals with the ups and downs with a smile. Even though bio-bubble in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 can be tough mentally, Dhawan is taking it positively.
Dhawan said it can prove to be a good test for the mental strength. He went on to compare it with the reality show Bigg Boss in which celebrities stay inside the house for as long as three months.
In a chat with Hindustan Times, he said, “Nice to test our mental strength. It’s almost like Big Boss.”
The players have a very limited area to move and they can’t go out of the bio-bubble no matter what. It can put the whole tournament at risk and every individual has a responsibility.
“It (the bio-bubble) is a new thing for everyone,” he said. “More than challenging, I see it as an opportunity to improve in every aspect. I keep myself entertained; I take it in a positive way. It totally depends on how a person talks to himself; you can be your best friend or you can be a victim,” Dhawan said.
Shikhar knows the mantra to stay mentally strong in the bio-bubble. “You can have 10 people who are positive around you, but if you are not your friend, no one can help.
“We don’t have any outlet. I enjoy going to a restaurant, seeing people. So, how are people going to take it? This IPL it’s going to matter a lot. If people are not performing well, how do they take it? They have to stay with the same people, in the hotel only, in the same space. I am sure it’s going to have a huge impact on everyone.”
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Adding more to it, he said meditation and yoga are very effective to not let the bio-bubble affect him mentally. “My stamina, focus, and mobility has got better,” he said. “I used to have a stiff body, my mobility has really gone to a level I like. Also skills keep changing. Little things that you won’t notice, like my stance has changed a little. Some of it is detailed stuff that of course I won’t like to tell.”
Dhawan, who joined the Delhi Capitals franchise in 2019, is aiming to win the tournament for his team and he is hopeful of their chances.
“More than skill-based, it’s going to be mentally challenging, coming after five months and playing in such a big tournament. It will take a lot of courage, skill, and everything for a team to start doing well. Can there be a new winner? Why not? Someone was saying how every leap year there is a new winner. Hopefully, we will see Delhi Capitals lifting the trophy.”
He further added that the team is looking very well balanced to take on any opposition. “Prithvi (Shaw) is in good touch, he is a class player. And Rishabh, Shreyas and Prithvi all are maturing as well. And we have Ajinkya Rahane, Ashwin coming in… I feel we’ve got a very complete side. Especially at the start, the pitches are going to be nice, I am assuming. Playing only on three venues, we will get turning pitches as well. We got enough batsmen who play the turning ball well. We have Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul as well, and Lalit Yadav is a good bat and bowls off-spin.”
Dhawan is impressed with Ricky Ponting’s work as a head coach. “He is a great coach and I enjoy working with him. He told me, keep your body language stronger and I worked on it and it has helped me. We (players) are mindful of the need to do specific things so that we improve.”
(With Hindustan Times Inputs)