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)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Zimbabwe make comeback with quick wickets

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Odisha vs Punjab Semi-Final 2: Amitoze Singh run out for 91

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Bengal vs Karnataka Semi-Final 1: Bengal lose Arindam Das after openers post 50

Live Cricket Score Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Shane Watson brings up 31st ODI fifty

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe

Virat Kohli: Ready for captaincy challenge in 1st Test against Australia

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Shane Watson scores his 31st ODI half-century

Bangladesh squander record stand to reach 251 for 7 against Zimbabwe in 2nd ODI at Chittagong

Australia vs South Africa 2014: Aaron Finch dismissed next ball after putting up 100-run partnership with Shane Watson

Mohammad Asif hopes for quick return

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia in risk of overkill

Is Dhawal Kulkarni a contender for India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

World Cup 1992: Arjuna Ranatunga masterminds first ever 300-plus ODI chase

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here