‘He’s an idiot’: Rohit recalls hilarious incident from 2013 Champions Trophy when he started opening with Dhawan
The India opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan is one of the most destructive duo in the world of cricket at the moment. Dhawan and Rohit have together added 4,802 ODI runs in 107 innings - the 4th highest ever by an opening pair in the 50-overs format. The two have played numerous match-winning partnerships for their side, and the Indian team often rely on the pair to give them a good start. But it was not such a smooth start to the pair when they started opening together. Speaking in an Instagram Live video with Australia opener David Warner, Rohit Sharma recalled a hilarious incident from the 2013 Champions Trophy, when he was newly promoted as the opener of the Indian team in the 50-overs cricket alongside Dhawan.
In the video, Warner, who had opened the innings with Dhawan for Sunrisers Hyderabad, asked Rohit if the left-handed batsman also tells him to face the first ball when they come out to open the innings.
In response, Rohit said: “He’s an idiot, what can I say. He doesn’t like to face the first ball. He likes to take on the spinners, but he does not like to take on the fast bowlers.
“I remember back in 2013, the day when I started opening batting for India in limited-overs cricket. I remember it was my second innings as an opener in the Champions Trophy. We were playing against South Africa... against guys like Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn. I had never faced them with the new ball. So, I told Shikhar ‘you gotta take the strike, man’.
“But he was like ‘no, Rohit. You have been playing for a while. This is my first over. I can’t. You gotta do it’. I said ‘the guy who opens regularly does not want to take the strike’. So, I took the strike, and the first few balls Morkel bowled, I did not even see. I was not expecting the bounce, I was not ready for it. I didn’t know how the new ball would do, that too on an England surface. As far back as I remember, I was absolutely bowled that day as well,” Rohit recalled as Warner continued to laugh on the other side.
“That was my first experience with Shikhar. But now we are comfortable with each other,” Rohit added.
The 33-year-old further joked that Dhawan can also be “annoying”. “Sometimes, he is very annoying as well. In the middle, I am setting up the plan, ‘this bowler is doing this, so we gotta do this’. Five seconds later, he will go, ‘okay, what did you say’. You are under tremendous pressure in the middle of the game, and this guy says all these things, it kind of makes you frustrated. You don’t know how to react,” he said.
“He also has this weird thing, when he defends the ball, he takes one or two steps forward. For a non-striker, it’s so confusing whether he is going to run or not. Now, over the years batting alongside him, I have decided, I am not going to run unless I see the ball is going in the gap. I have missed many runs doing that. But I have no regrets. I was in trouble a number of time because of that,” he added as Warner continued to laugh.