Australian pace ace Mitchell Johnson holds no fears for explosive Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has pledged to fight fire with fire in the looming Test series.
Dhawan has promised to attack Australia’s fast bowling trumpcard in their pivotal duel starting in the first Test in Adelaide from Tuesday.
“I feel that you need an aggressive opener in today’s cricket which can turn things around,” Dhawan said today.
“So that will be a very good thing for us. And I would love to play that role.”
While respectful of Johnson, Dhawan, who lives in Melbourne with his Australian-born wife, said there was “no fear factor” in confronting the International Cricketer of the Year.
“Of course he’s one of the best bowlers in the world,” he said.
“He has got really good pace and we have prepared for that pace.
“I have faced him lots of times back in India but I will be facing him for the first time in Australia so it’s going to be a good challenge and I’m going to enjoy the challenge.”
Dhawan has played just one Test innings against Australia – when he smacked 187 on debut in Mohali in March last year.
The left-hander cracked 33 fours and two sixes in that knock but has passed 50 in just two other Test innings.
Dhawan’s returns have dwindled away from India, the lefthander averaged only 20.33 on the recent tour of England prompting pundits to question his ability to flourish on lively pitches.
“That is their thinking and their point of view,” he said.
“I am always open for change for the betterment of my game … like in England, I couldn’t score much runs so that was a good learning curve for me.
“And it made me a better player. I always finds lots of positives in my failures too.”
Dhawan, who lives in Melbourne with his Australian-born wife, has a lean record away from India’s featherbed pitches is mirrored in his opening partnerships with Murali Vijay.
The pair have been unable to perform away from home – their highest partnership is just 49 from 14 innings outside of India.
“We haven’t done it doesn’t mean that we cannot do it,” Dhawan said.
His partner Vijay said improving their returns would be vital in the four-Test series.
“We are really confident in each other’s game,” Vijay said.
“Both the teams are going to be hoping on the starts because of the conditions and the wickets – whichever team gets a better start is going to be having an advantage.”