‘I can pull his leg, young players can’t. He’s a big player’: Shikhar Dhawan on his relationship with Virat Kohli

He may not be part as regular a part of India’s white ball squad as he used to be, especially in the ODIs, but with 6793 runs in 167 matches, Shikhar Dhawan is among the all time greats for India. Their 10th highest run scorer in the format.

For most of his time as an international cricketer, Dhawan has featured under the captainship of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. The latter, he has played with for the Delhi senior team as well. The southpaw opener recently opened up on his relationship with the former India skipper.

“Virat is a good friend of mine. We share good camaraderie and always enjoy healthy banter. He is a senior player at Team India. I can pull his leg, young players can’t. He’s a big player. We exude good humour and bonhomie since our early playing days,” Dhawan told Lallantop.

Dhawan then added on his role in the Indian team being a senior player, and that it had to be beyond his personal self.

Agar ego par lelogey to tussle aygi he aygi. Ye to ego ki baat agyi na. (It’s nothing like that. If you take it on the ego, it will hurt you. It is then a matter of ego, isn’t it?) If I continue to think that I’m a senior and I’m playing under him. Then there will be ego. It’s all frivolous thinking to me. And there’s no need to have that. It’s of no use,” he said.

On comparing the captaincy and playing styles of the MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, Dhawan said, “All are different characters. Dhoni is very calm. He used to always back his players. Dhoni has a calm personality. He used to stay calm in pressure situations. It’s not like he can only read the game from behind the stumps. A player who is a very good reader of the game can crack the code from any position on the field. That is the wisdom of that person. Talking about Virat, his character is different. He has always been an aggressive batter. He is also fond of showing aggression. So he has been the captain of that character.”

Having featured in the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh last December, Dhawan was dropped from the Indian squad for the series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand earlier this year and remains doubtful for the World Cup squad later this year.

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