Left-handed batter Shikhar Dhawan has had a memorable 2022 so far as he has produced some fine performances in the 50-over format and has also led Team India for the second time during the ODI series against West Indies. In the 13 ODIs, that he has played this year, the southpaw has scored 542 runs with his highest score being 97 against the West Indies at Port of Spain, Trinidad. In a conversation with NDTV, Dhawan spoke about how the upcoming 2023 World Cup in India keeps him motivated and how he always tries to look after his fitness to be in good shape.
“I feel grateful that my hard work has made me capable of achieving so much. Most certainly, the 2023 world cup keeps driving me, but it is more my love for sports and dedication to my game. I make sure that I keep my fitness always on the top level and keep doing the work – whether it’s skill work or fitness work or emotional wellbeing. I maintain consistency to grasp every chance of improvement, and we are looking forward to the World Cup and put a great impact in every match,” Dhawan told NDTV.
“It’s about discipline, whenever I am travelling, I make sure that I give my body rest and then maintain a balance of fitness and training. Consistency is really important, especially when I’m traveling and have a few days before the match, I train in the gym to maintain my strength, and perpetuate mobility as well as flexibility to avoid injuries like muscle tears. When it comes to de-stressing after a long trip, I prefer staying at home, hanging out with friends, or going on a trip,” he added.
The 36-year-old Dhawan is known for always keeping the mood upbeat within the dressing room, and his celebration style is a testament to the bonding he shares with the youngsters in the team.
“I make sure I bond with them on the field as well as off the field. At the end of the day, we are all humans, so I try to maintain an emotional connection with them, and that results in them listening to me better on the field. My only advice will be to know your game, be positive, and have a vision for yourself. One should focus on their goal to do something for India, so they should upskill themselves, maintain their fitness, and always stay positive. I tell them to develop a mindset that encourages them to be the top player for the nation, and change their dreams into reality. Even when life is testing you, handle those situations with calmness and ease,” said Dhawan.
Sportspersons in India are criticised often when the performances don’t come at a stretch and sometimes it can be a bit too much. However, Dhawan said that he takes it all in his stride and does not let criticism affect him. Rather, he focuses on how he can oblige fans whenever presented with an opportunity.
“It’s always the individual responsibility to take care of their mental health or emotional health. Criticism is part of everyone’s life journey, not just cricketers. One gets both things from the public and one has to be okay with it. Appreciation or criticism totally depends on how you handle it. Where I know my mistakes and what have I done and I don’t dwell much on what other people think. I seek guidance from my coach and try to improve. I believe if I do good people will say good about me. On the other hand, I can say if a person is going through a rough patch one should try introspection, positive self-talk matters a lot when it comes to mental health. Be your own best friend rather than the worst critic,” said Dhawan.
“I don’t think it’s the worst part, in fact, I do not like to look at it with a negative connotation. One has to always handle it with poise and personally if you ask me, it doesn’t matter to me much, I am playing for the country and that is my only responsibility and everyone loves me for that. So for instance, if someone is asking for a picture or an autograph, even when I am tired, I always appreciate that moment, it always makes me happy. On the other hand, if I get negative comments, I just don’t look into it as simple as that. I try to always surround myself with good things and positive vibes,” he added.
Talking about how he maintains his fitness and what kind of routines he follows to be in the best shape possible, Dhawan said: “My daily routine includes gym on a daily basis so that I get the best out of my fitness. Eating consciously is my hallmark I plan my meals so that they contain a balance of fruits, carbs, and proteins. My weekly fitness regime is 4 sessions of the gym, 2-3 sessions of running, 2-3 net sessions, and lastly 4-5 yoga sessions. That is how I plan my fitness journey for a whole week.”
“My daily routine includes gym on a daily basis so that I get the best out of my fitness. Eating consciously is my hallmark I plan my meals so that they contain a balance of fruits, carbs, and proteins. My weekly fitness regime is 4 sessions of the gym, 2-3 sessions of running, 2-3 net sessions, and lastly 4-5 yoga sessions. That is how I plan my fitness journey for a whole week. My favourite workout would be deadlifts, chest, back and Stretching exercises,” he added.
Topics mentioned in this article