Home > Features >

India vs England 2014: Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan combo look for fresh ‘start’

Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan pair need to come good for India © Getty Images
Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan pair needs to come good for India © Getty Images

India will look for a fresh start in the One-Day International (ODI) series after the Test drubbing against England. However, the start is where India have often fumbled in their recent overseas matches in the ODIs as well. Abhijit Banare analyses the performance of Indian openers and the options available for India.

It’s been a known fact now. The only ODI’s India have won since their home series against West Indies is in the Asia Cup (two to be precise). It was a fruitless outing in South Africa and New Zealand in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Though they have looked a far better side in this format, there are a few things to worry about which has been the cause of losses overseas. Not many would disagree that the opening partnerships have been equally dismal in ODIs as they have been in Tests.

The Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan combination was off to a flier in the Champions Trophy 2013. The fluency with which they scored infused enormous positivity in the batting to follow. But the moment these two stepped out of the honeymoon period, and travelled overseas, there was little spark.

Below are their individual figures since the home series against West Indies in 2013.

Rohit Sharma

Shikhar Dhawan

M

R

Avg

M

R

Avg

12

290

29

11

285

28.5

And below is their partnership since the West Indies series in 2013.

M

R

Avg

Highest

10

236

23.6

64

The 64-run stand was in the tied match at Auckland where both these batsmen started off smoothly before gifting their wickets away.

What went wrong? Both players are delight to watch when they are in full flow. Dhawan, at the start of his career never looked like stepping on the wrong peddle. But the opposition bowlers have found his weak areas and the hook shot is certainly one of them. Dhawan has repeatedly failed to hold back his aggressive instinct when the bowlers hold the advantage early on. On the other hand, Rohit looks as clueless against swing as Chris Martin with a bat in his hand. He looked worse than Martin in South Africa where the pacers kept teasing him. And in the process, Rohit consumes a lot of deliveries. There hasn’t been much wrong in their partnerships but they have been found wanting on the individual level.

Will they play?: Skipper MS Dhoni has the habit of backing his players and it seems no different here. With their success last year and the pitches for first two matches not as testing as they were in Tests, he would prefer to continue with the same arrangement.

What happens if they fail here? Based on what Dhawan performed in Tests, he will have a mountain to climb when he faces James Anderson. The swing bowler relishes bowling to left-handers especially when they are slightly tentative prodding outside off. Anderson did get the better of Dhawan in Tests. It’s likely that these two will get their chances opening together at least in the first two ODIs. The wicket is predicted to be flat and this is their best chance. If they do fail on these pitches, then certainly there are more options for the team.

India’s options:

Sanju Samson: Young, talented and has shown what he is capable of at almost all the major domestic and A tournaments played by India. There are some talents which. It would be interesting to see whether the team management opts to bring him in if the regular openers fail. There will also be some cautious opinions that a failure for Samson would demoralise him. Moreover, judging him only on the basis of this series too would be hard on him. But if he does play, expect him to go aggressive.

Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane has been not as consistent in the limited over ‘s middle-order as he has been in Tests. However, he has plenty of experience up the order and has the technical soundness to last more than what Dhawan and Rohit offer with their techniques where the ball does talk early on.

The key to India’s success will be how proactive they are in making team changes and shuffling their batting when the situation demands. There aren’t many examples of these as far as Dhoni is concerned.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014  at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes won by 86 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

Live Cricket Score Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 9: Hurricanes register massive 86-run win

Brendon McCullum’s stunning fielding effort in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Northern Knights

Ben Hilfenhaus, Aiden Blizzard star in massive 86-run win for Hobart Hurricanes against Northern Knights in CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights lose their sixth wicket

Scott Styris becomes only 2nd player to get T20 double of 4000 runs and 100 wickets during Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights sink further after fourth wicket

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014 Match 9 at Raipur: Knights struggling after massive set-backs

Cricket in Canada: Coach Mukesh Narula travels around the vast nation to train players

Australia on the verge of handing out 50 Test caps in a decade!

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014: Key Clashes

Chennai Super Kings’ top five batting performances

Asian Games 2014: Afghanistan eye cricketing glory after 2010 heartbreak

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Northern Knights vs Hobart Hurricanes: Hurricanes score 178 as Blizzard and Malik dominate the final overs

Asian Games 2014 Schedule Day 5: Indian players in action at 17th Incheon Asian Games

Bigg Boss 8: Sushant Divgikar hopes to sensitise TV viewers to LGBT cause via Salman Khan’s show

इन खाद्द पदार्थों के द्वारा किडनी को स्वस्थ रखें

Here’s why the Bigg Boss 8 Secret Society is a big flop!

Xiaomi offering free micro-SIM card trays to Mi 3 owners

Updated Retina iPad mini and 12.9-inch iPad Pro delayed till 2015: Report

Scared you’ll lose your job? It might be the reason for your frequent asthma attacks

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here