One of the biggest reasons behind India’s dominance in ODI cricket over the last two years has been the prolific run of scores by their top order. The combination of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have been brilliant for the blue brigade as their consistency has been a cornerstone behind India’s success. They have reserved their best for Australia – since 2013, the trio of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli have combined to scored 58% of the total team runs against them.
India’s opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are now on the cusp of achieving an extremely significant landmark in ODIs. If they combine to register a 100-run stand for the first wicket, they will become the most prolific pair against any particular opposition. In 22 innings against Australia, Rohit and Dhawan have registered six century stands and this sees them tied with Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes ( 6 century stand in 22 innings against India).
Dhawan, who made a comeback in the T20 side in the just-concluded three-match series against Sri Lanka, was also among the runs and this pits him against KL Rahul, who has been batting beautifully in the recent past. However, for the Indian management, this is a great problem to have at their disposal.
“It’s a good dilemma to have. Rohit is an obvious choice of course. Both of them (Shikhar and Rahul) are playing well. Shikhar has done well in one-dayers and Rahul is in great form. So we’ll deal with it when we have to,” batting coach Vikram Rathour said.
Asked about the relevance of the series in a T20 World Cup year, Rathour said, “It’s a different format and cricket is a game of confidence. So as a batter and bowler, especially when you are playing against a team like Australia, who are one of the better teams in the world, performances do make a difference. It gives you a lot of confidence.”