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Shikhar Dhawan warns Sri Lanka of India openers’ wrath ahead of Visakhapatnam ODI

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have formed a formidable opening pair for India in ODI cricket and the left-hander has said his strength is demolishing any opposition on a given day.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 16, 2017 18:02 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Visakhapatnam
India vs Sri Lanka,Shikhar Dhawan,Rohit Sharma
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be key for India in the third ODI match against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam.(PTI)

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have been the pillars in Indian cricket team’s dominant run in the last couple of years. As India bid to win a record eighth consecutive bilateral ODI series ahead of the decider at the ACA-VDCA stadium, Dhawan has sounded out a warning to the Sri Lankan team.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday, Dhawan emphatically stated, “Once I am in, I can demolish any side because that is my strength. Even Rohit, once he gets settled, he scores big. With the calibre we have got, we can take the game away.”

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Since 2013, the Dhawan-Rohit combination has amassed 3163 runs in 68 games at an average of 47.20 with 12 century opening partnerships. In Mohali, Dhawan’s rapid 68 off 67 balls and his 115-run stand in 21.1 overs with Rohit helped lay the base for the Indian captain’s onslaught and big score.

City of destiny

Dhawan returns to a venue where he made his international debut against Australia in 2010. Although he was dismissed for 0, the venue is memorable for the left-hander’s career resurrection.

“I love coming to Vizag. It’s a very beautiful and clean city. I did very well in Deodhar Trophy. After that, there was a drastic change in my international career. As they say, Vizag is the city of destiny. It has been very good for me and I always enjoy coming here,” Dhawan said.

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Last year, Dhawan, battling injuries, scored a brilliant century for India-B in the Deodhar Trophy and finished as the second-highest run-getter in the tournament with 223 runs at an average of 74. The Deodhar Trophy performance resulted in a good run in the Champions Trophy 2017 where he ended up becoming the leading run-getter for the second edition in a row with 338 runs at 67.6.

Challenge of seaming wickets

In the series against Sri Lanka, India played on two green tops in Kolkata and Dharamsala. At the HPCA stadium, India were bowled out for 112, which raised questions on India’s ability to perform on seaming tracks. However, Dhawan said India tried to play with positive intent.

“We learnt a lot of things when we played in Kolkata and Dharamsala. It was seaming and it was bit of a damp wicket. It is not that it was a dry wicket and seaming, that is a different thing. It didn’t go our way but you learn a lot of things from this,” Dhawan said.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 18:00 IST