Chennai: Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Shikhar Dhawan said an injury lay-off that forced him out of seven matches made him hungrier for runs.
Dhawan, who last month struck the fastest Test century on debut against Autralia, struck a valiant unbeaten 63, but it went in vain against Chennai Super Kings, who won by five wickets here on Thursday night.
"I got fresh and hungrier to bat again. Before coming into this match I was at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for a week to 10 days. I practiced there and prepared for the match," he was quoted as saying.
It was only last month that Dhawan announced his arrival to the world of cricket with a rampaging 187 against Australia - the fastest century on Test debut in Mohali. But he missed the next Test with a hand injury sustained while fielding.
"I batted so well in my first Test and then to miss out on playing the second one was very tough. But I tend to see things in a positive way. I believe things happen for the better," he said.
Asked how he placed his innings against Super Kings, Dhawan said, "When I started batting at the nets I found that I had the same flow and rhythm that I felt during the Test. So, I just came in keeping in mind how to pace my innings and plan it. I worked on my skills in the nets and decided to plan the rest on the basis of the wicket and the bowling.
"I do change my game a lot. Yes, I did score the fastest century on Test debut but I didn`t plan to do so. It was a lucky day for me and it just happened. But generally when I am playing days of cricket I do go slow. I do prepare very differently for T20 format, mostly suiting to the demands of the game."
During the innings, Dhawan was injured after he was hit on his lower abdomen by Dwayne Bravo in the 14th over. He was retired hurt, but still returned to the crease to take Sunrisers to a healthy total of 159.
Dhawan said the pain didn`t take the smile off his face.
"I didn`t think about that, honestly. I was just feeling good that the pain had lessened and I was again ready to go and bat. I`m pretty used to this pain - I keep getting fractures and such injuries. The pain doesn`t take the smile off my face, he added.
Dhawan said Bravo was concerned about his injury.
"He asked me, `Are you okay, bro?` I told him I`ll have to get myself checked by the physio first. We play against each other, but when a player is hurt, we care about each other too and give them a good hug," he said.