Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

India tour of New Zealand 2014: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan eye turnaround after tough South African sojourn

Rohit Sharma (left) and Shikhar Dhawan © PTI
Rohit Sharma (left) and Shikhar Dhawan would aim for a fresh start after a disappointing tour of South Africa © PTI

 

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had a tough time in South Africa. The openers of the Indian batting line-up now have an opportunity to turn things around in New Zealand. Nishad Pai Vaidya has more…

 

The year 2013 was a phenomenal ride for Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Following two years of uncertainty over the opening combination, India finally found a pair that fit the bill and delivered consistently. They are youthful, fearless and match-winners in their own right — a blend India desperately searched for after the ICC World Cup 2011. That Rohit was the second highest run-scorer of the year and Dhawan smashed five tons stands testimony to their efforts and consistency. However, the duo couldn’t end the year on a high as the South African pace battery tested them on bouncy surfaces in the Rainbow Nation. As the tour of New Zealand beckons, Rohit and Dhawan must be  eyeing a turnaround.

 

Although the tour to South Africa was a tough sojourn for both the openers, they may be in a much better position to do well in New Zealand. The conditions there are very different when compared to South Africa. While the seamers may find help with some movement, the degree of the bounce wouldn’t be the same. They can measure the conditions and plan their approach accordingly, tuning their game according to the movement.

 

Patience would be the key for someone like a Rohit, who usually takes his time in the middle to grit it out, see off the first few overs and then plan the assault. This approach complements Dhawan perfectly as he is the go-to-man upfront. Any ball in his zone will be smashed to the boundary. It is that combination that has worked very well for India through the year. When they came together in England for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, it hit the ground running perfectly. While Rohit would contend with the swing and stay at the wicket, Dhawan would attack.

 

Thus, their experience in England may actually hold them in good stead for this tour as they may have a better sense of the conditions..  They arrived a week ahead of the first game, which would allow them to adjust to the conditions with numerous practice sessions. In South Africa, this pair was caught off-guard as India arrived a couple of days before the first game and didn’t have any tour match.

 

 

Also, Dhawan and Rohit will have to contend with a young bowling attack that is growing in confidence. New Zealand may not have the big names, but have enough guile and strength. There is a Mitchell McClenaghan, who has picked a bagful of wickets in 2013. Adam Milne is the new pace sensation and would add to this attack with pace. It may be unsettling for the batsmen, but potentially a good contest. Then there is Tim Southee and Trent Boult, bowlers who would swing it around and have shown great promise. So, on a man to man basis, New Zealand have a good attack and should have a good battle with the young and fearless Indian openers.

 

From the long term perspective, this is a very important tour considering the ICC World Cup 2015. India are quite fortunate that they are playing in New Zealand a year ahead of the tournament and would be in Australia leading up to the big event. This gives India an ideal opportunity to zero in on their side, which seems to be a settled unit as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pointed out. Dhawan and Rohit form the nucleus of that line-up as they are the ones who set the tone. They may have had a tough tour in South Africa, but considering their performances in England and the West Indies last year, where conditions weren’t the easiest, they do have the goods to do well.

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 16, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 41 runs

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Australia Women won by 6 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 6, 2014  at Dhaka

Sri Lanka won by 6 wkts

Womens World T20, 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

England Women won by 9 wkts

T20 WC 2014

Apr 4, 2014  at Dhaka

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge play cricket

Videos

Prince William, Kate Middleton meet McGrath, Ellyse

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Onus on Chris Gayle to take Royal Challengers Bangalore all the way

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Narendra Modi’s tea-vendor origin influences MS Dhoni in calling laundrymen to clean up BCCI mess

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2014 Preview: RCB have advantage over DD sans Kevin Pietersen

Australia BCCI England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Lasith Malinga Moments in history Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders Royal Challengers Bangalore Sachin Tendulkar

England should stick with Ashley Giles, says Mickey Arthur

Chris Rogers backs Sam Robson to play for England against India, Sri Lanka this summer

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten happy with all-round squad

Glenn McGrath couldn’t resist having a dig at Prince William over Australia’s Ashes win

IPL 7: Ross Taylor happy to be back with Delhi Daredevils

IPL 7: Vintage Jacques Kallis showed his class for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Onus on Chris Gayle to take Royal Challengers Bangalore all the way

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowlers have their work cut out against Delhi Daredevils

IPL 2014: Capacity crowd at UAE provides glimpse of the T20 league’s huge following

Narendra Modi’s tea-vendor origin influences MS Dhoni in calling laundrymen to clean up BCCI mess

Fan of the Day

Mahesh Yadav

Mahesh Yadav

39 Posts | 0 Fans

CCL 4: Live Free Streaming Bhojpuri Dabanggs Vs Chennai Rhinos at Ranchi

Yeh Hain Mohabbatein’s Divyanka Tripathi to tie the knot with boyfriend Ssharad Malhotraa?

Spotting during second trimester — 4 reasons why you shouldn’t neglect it

Katrina Kaif chooses Ranbir Kapoor over her Cannes debut

IPL 2014: Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten happy with all-round squad

Snoop Dogg recruited for Call of Duty: Ghosts voiceovers

Heartbleed fix may slow Web performance

Spotting or bleeding during third trimester of pregnancy

Chris Rogers backs Sam Robson to play for England against India, Sri Lanka this summer

Also on cricketcountry.com