HYDERABAD: Left-handed Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan believes his performances in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have earned him a spot in the 15-member squad for the Champions Trophy beginning June 1 in England and Wales.
Dhawan on Monday celebrated his inclusion in the Champions Trophy squad with a match-winning fifty for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.
The Indian southpaw shared a 91-run stand with Moises Henriques after losing his opening partner and captain David Warner early in their chase of 139. He led his team across the finish line with an unbeaten 62 off just 46 balls.
The 31-year-old has been picked as a first-choice opener along with Rohit Sharma, with Ajinkya Rahane providing back-up.
The left-handed opener, who is the second-highest run-scorer so far in this IPL edition with 450 in 12 matches, said he was pumped up to play for India in the Champions Trophy.
“I was obviously happy to know that my name is there Indian squad for the Champions Trophy but more than that I felt that it was a reward for my performances in the shorter formats and in the ongoing IPL," Dhawan said in an interview with iplt20.com.
"If I keep performing well, I believe those performances won't be ignored. I want to perform and keep playing for India as long as I can. I am pumped up to play the Champions Trophy," he added.
Dhawan, who was the highest run-scorer in the 2013 Champions Trophy in England with 363 runs from five matches at 90.75 and was also named the player of the tournament, further said the team will try to bring the cup back.
"I have some good memories of the tournament and I had a great one the last time we played there. We will try to bring home the Champions Trophy," he said.