Shikhar Dhawan told NDTV that he is looking forward to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal for Punjab Kings in IPL 2022. The attacking left-hander was bought for Rs 8.25 crore by Punjab Kings after a three-way bidding war with Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals in the mega auction. Calling the Punjab-based franchise his “second home”, Dhawan said they are hoping to go all the way and lift their maiden Indian Premier League title this year. “I am very excited to play for Punjab Kings, it is like a second home for me. I am a proper Punjabi person, it is in my blood. I am really looking forward to this season, we have a very good side. I am sure we will do good and we will end up on a winning note,” Dhawan told NDTV on the sidelines of the launch of Shikhar Dhawan Foundation.
The southpaw, who last represented Delhi Capitals in the IPL, said he will provide “support” to Mayank, who is set to lead an IPL side for the first time in his career.
“Mayank is a great player and I am sure he will be great as a captain. I will provide support to him, he is a mature player, he is a senior guy. I enjoy his company, we will get along well,” he added.
Dhawan has been in terrific form in the IPL, scoring more than 500 runs in three of the last five editions of the tournament. The 36-year-old gave a lot of credit to former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who was the coach of Delhi Capitals.
“Coach has a big role, Ricky Ponting backed me, he is a great coach. I will miss him, I enjoyed playing under him. I had great time with Delhi Capitals. Everything has its own time. I have matured as a player, I will bring that to the table for Punjab Kings. You have to understand youngsters, you become mature after a little experience,” he said.
The veteran cricketer also had words of encouragement for young Raj Angad Bawa. Punjab bought Bawa for Rs 2 crore after his brilliant performance for India in the U19 World Cup. The all-rounder was the Player of the Match in India’s victory over England in the final.
“Raj Bawa is there and I would like to meet him. I will talk to all the youngsters. I will share all my knowledge with them,” Dhawan, who wants to have a “deeper impact” on the society through his association with 11 NGOs, said.
“I am starting a foundation in which we will adopt 11 NGOs, collaborate with them and work on various aspects like child education, malnutrition, shelters for animals,” he added.
Punjab Kings open their account against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
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