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My focus is on 2023 ODI World Cup, want to play all possible matches: Shikhar Dhawan

Senior India opener Shikhar Dhawan has revealed that his focus is on the 2023 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup and he wants to play as many matches as possible for India leading up to the big tournament in order to stay fit and prepare well.

In an interview, Dhawan spoke about his plans to focus on the World Cup in India next year. The left-handed opener, who has been a star for India in ICC events in the past, expressed how he enjoys playing in world tournaments and the satisfaction he derives from it.

“I love playing in ICC tournaments. There is always a different feeling and satisfaction and I’ve had some very good tournaments in the past. I prepare and approach every tournament exactly the same way,” Dhawan told Times of India.

“Every time I wear the Indian jersey, pressure is always there and the thing is, as an experienced player, I know how to handle pressure. The buzz definitely helps, because it adds motivation to my game. I don’t get over-awed by the moment, because my focus, process, and preparation is the same for any tournament I am playing in,” he added.

The 36-year-old said that he aims to play “as many matches as possible” for India leading up to the marquee event at home next year to give his best in the big tournament.

“My focus is definitely on next year’s 50-overs World Cup and for that, I want to play as many matches as possible for India and do well in them. In between, there is the IPL as well, so I will try to continue to perform there and look to play the domestic one-day and T20 matches and keep myself match-fit and ready,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan, who led India to a 3-0 ODI series win in West Indies, will act as deputy to KL Rahul in the upcoming ODIs against Zimbabwe. He stated that his approach to captaincy is to be “cool and aggressive”.

“Captaining India is always an honour. My approach to captaincy is to be cool and aggressive – aggressive from the inside, and cool on the outside,” the left-handed batter said.

“I want my team to enjoy themselves on the field, but maintain the intensity during the game and to enjoy playing for Team India. I enjoy mentoring the young boys and passing on knowledge and that continues to bring out the leadership qualities in me,” he added.

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