The left-handed batsman is gearing up to lead India in the three-match ODI series against New Zealandstarting Friday.
It won’t be the first time Dhawan will wear the captain’s hat as he has captained a second-tier Indian team in the past, getting good results against Sri Lanka (3-2), South Africa (2-1) and West Indies (3-0).
The Delhi batsman says his decision-making has improved over time, thanks to his presence of mind.
“The more you play, the more confidence you get in the decisions you make. Earlier there were cases where I gave a bowler a little extra out of respect (for him). But now, now that I’ve grown up, even if someone feels bad , I will make a decision that will help the team,” Dhawan told ESPNCricinfo.
Talking further about leadership skills, Dhawan said the key is to keep the balance and gain the trust of the players. He hardly feels pressure and keeps the environment around him happy.
“When you play music on a stringed instrument, if the string is too loose, it won’t sound right, or if it’s too tight, it breaks. So it’s a matter of creating balance. (As captain) creating that balance is very important .
“You have to understand when to pull the string tight and when to let it go a little bit. That’s an art. It’s a matter of timing. At this stage I also understand when to say things to the players and how much I must say.” .
“If a bowler gets hit it’s important to know when to talk to them. I won’t do it when they’re hot-headed, but approach them later and talk carefully. It also depends on the level you’re at leads..
“When it comes to the IPL, most of the players are mature, so you have to consider whether you should pull the string or not. ranji, you have to show steadfastness sometimes, because a youth at that level is like a kaccha ghada (an unfired clay pot), so you have to be steadfast to mold it. Finding that balance is key,” he explained his philosophy.
The 36-year-old was recently handed the captain’s armband of IPL side Punjab Kings who struggled to reach the play-offs.
In season 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022, the team came close to making the playoffs, but fell one or two wins short.
“We can learn from our past and improve on our mistakes. Apart from that, I won’t dwell on anything else much and I don’t want my team to either. No need to drag back the baggage of the past”, he said. insisted.
So how does he think he can make a difference there?
“I will make sure that the support staff and I create an environment where the players feel comfortable. I want my boys to be themselves and understand their responsibilities at the same time. I want us to be relaxed but also focused.”
“We play the IPL. We live our dream. And if you live your dream, it should be full of happiness and no stress. With love you can conquer all. The (IPL) trophy is no challenge too far from our reach,” he said.
And he feels he can be that lucky charm for Punjab Kings as the IPL team he was a part of has played finals – Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabd and Delhi Capitals.
He was also part of Deccan Chargers, but that team failed to qualify for the title fight. The same side was renamed as Sunrisers Hyderabad.