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India vs West Indies: Rohit Sharma & Shikhar Dhawan become 2nd most successful opening pair for India in ODIs

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly sit atop list with 6609 runs in 136 innings at an average of 49.32 with a highest partnership of 258.

cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2018 14:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
india vs west indies,4th ODI,shikhar dhawan
File image of Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Rohit Sharma.(AFP)

India openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been one of the reasons that the team has been a force to reckon with in the ODI format in recent times. While the two have complemented each other really well at the top of the innings, they are now also the second most successful opening pair for the Men in Blue behind Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Needing five runs to overtake Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar — 3919 runs in 93 innings — the duo reached the milestone when Rohit collected a leg-bye in the opening over of the fourth ODI against West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday.

With the single, the duo of Rohit and Dhawan now have 3920 runs from 87 innings at an average of 46.11. Their best partnership stands at 210. They need another 2689 runs if they wish to match Tendulkar and Ganguly at the top. They managed to score 6609 runs in 136 innings at an average of 49.32 with a highest partnership of 258.

It’s a boon that India have arguably the best ODI top order going into the World Cup. The bane is that the middle order would be expected to stand up when the top order fails without much of game time, like in the away ODI series against England where they lost. That’s a reality India would have to live with.

“Obviously it’s great that the top-3 are doing so well for India. It’s a challenge for the middle order to always be ready to get in and bat whenever needed. I am sure everybody are up for it, everybody knows the situation,” Ambati Rayudu, who has been zeroed in for the No.4 spot for the time being, said at the start of the series.

Even leaving aside Kohli, the other two lynchpins Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are a big threat in home conditions. Rohit became the only player to have six 150-plus scores in ODIs with a blistering knock in the opening ODI of the series in Guwahati.

It is no secret that it was former skipper MS Dhoni who had first asked Rohit to open and commenting on the decision, Rohit had said: “He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said ‘I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener’,” Rohit said about the decision.

Dhawan and Rohit also became the 5th Indian pair to gather 4000 runs in ODIs.

Interestingly, Rohit also managed to register 1000 runs against West Indies when he hit Jason Holder for a boundary in the second over of the innings.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 14:05 IST