Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have enjoyed many long partnerships while opening the innings for India. There have been countless occasions when the two have won the game for India without needing anyone else’s help. A recent example is the first ODI against England where India chased down 110 with ease.
The partnership that started in 2013 when then-captain MS Dhoni promoted Rohit Sharma to open the innings alongside Dhawan in the Champions Trophy has now become limited to ODIs with Dhawan missing the other two formats (Tests and T20Is). But still, the two find ways to complement each other perfectly and win games for the team.
However, with the game of cricket continuously evolving, teams are adopting different strategies to stay at the top. ODIs have now become an extension of T20Is is what the current Team India captain and Dhawan’s opening partner Rohit Sharma believes. Thus, he wants his batters to take risks and play more freely. Meanwhile, Dhawan who follows old-school cricket still backs himself to approach the game cautiously and believes in anchoring the innings.
This has led to rumors of a rift between the two batting stalwarts. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) denies all such rumors as it says “there is no problem between Shikhar and Rohit”. According to an InsideSport report, a BCCI selector has quashed such rumors and has opined that the two individuals only have a different set of ideas. But the official did emphasize that the board will have a talk with the veteran opener after the Zimbabwe tour.
“There is no problem between Shikhar and Rohit. It’s just that both have different ideas. It is not a bad thing. But yes, we will have a sit down with Shikhar probably after the Zimbabwe tour on understanding his future plans. If he needs to change his batting approach, Vikram and Rahul are there to talk to him. We won’t interfere,” a member of the selection committee told InsideSport.
Dhawan needs to understand the demand
The official further said that Dhawan needs to understand the current demand where the players are being asked to get quick starts. “There is no reason to panic. Shikhar is doing just fine. Yes, the demand of the game is now such that you will have to be quick off the blocks. With KL Rahul, Shubman, and Ishan around, he will need to understand that demand. I am sure, he will do just fine,” the selector said.
It’s worth mentioning that Dhawan’s overall strike rate in the ODIs is 92.53 but it has come down to 76.03 in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the other opening contender in ODIs, Ishan Kishan (107.31), Shubman Gill (104.9), and Rohit Sharma (107.54) hav a superior scoring rate than Dhawan.