Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma during a T20I
Shikhar Dhawan (L) and Rohit Sharma (AFP Photo)

India have rested Virat Kohli for the upcoming six-nation Asia Cup 2018 to be held in UAE from September 15 and in his place, opening batsman Rohit Sharma has been handed the team captaincy. Former Australia speedster Brett Lee reckons Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit will play a major role for India during the tournament in which they have been placed alongside Pakistan and Hong Kong in Group A.

“With Virat Kohli not playing, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will be the two key men with the bat for India,” Lee said in a press release issued by tournament broadcasters Star Sports. “Two key batsmen for India in the Asia Cup – Dhawan and secondly Rohit. I believe Rohit will get the best out of himself and also the team because he has been given that extra bit of responsibility to lead the Indian side.”

Rohit Sharma has had his share of struggles against left-arm pacers. However, considering the low UAE wickets, Lee, who played 76 Tests and 221 ODIs between 1999 and 2012 for Australia, predicts the Indian won’t face the same diffculties and instead will dominate the pacers.

“The great Virat Kohli is being rested for the tournament, so that allows Shikhar and Rohit to be pushed up. There is a lot of talk about how Rohit can’t face left arm fast bowlers – with the swing and the ball going across him.

“But, I don’t necessarily agree with that, but what I can say is that in the UAE it will be a different style he will have to face. Yes, they will bring on the left-arm fast bowlers to target Rohit, but I believe on the lower and slower wickets in UAE, Rohit will dominate. I believe the wicket will help him out,” he said.

Shikhar Dhawan has been struggling with his form in the ongoing tour of England and is yet to score a half-century. But Lee feels the left-hander has been getting some form and will prosper on batting-friendly wickets in the UAE.

“Dhawan has come in form during his bout in England, but will have to adjust a few things in his techniques to ensure he will be playing on the surfaces that will be conducive to him. He has played on grounds all around India that are low and slow in recent years, and the tracks in UAE will suit him, allowing him to play through the line of the ball,” the 41-year-old said.