HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) -- India captain M.S. Dhoni says opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan "kept believing in himself" during a lean scoring spell in Australia and his form turnaround at the Cricket World Cup isn't unexpected.
Dhawan came into the World Cup down on form, if not confidence. He had scores of 2, 1, 8 and 38 during India's one-day tri-series against Australia and England and made 167 runs in six innings during the preceding test series against Australia.
Dhoni has been given credit for sticking by Dhawan during his run drought, and for personally reassuring the 29-year-old left-hander.
He told reporters after Dhawan's second century at this World Cup led India to an eight-wicket win over Ireland that "it's important to back players and we try to do it to the extent we can."