Former selector Sarandeep Singh believes Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan should open in the T20 World Cup.
India have tested as many as four different opening pairs in the recently-concluded T20I series against England. But former selector Sarandeep Singh said that India should stick to the experienced opening pair of Rohit-Dhawan. He also called the duo the “best option” despite the captain Virat Kohli’s recent desire to open innings for India.
Sarandeep, whose tenure ended with India’s historic win in Australia earlier this year, also opened up on the split captaincy, citing that the issue was never been discussed in his time as Virat Kohli has been doing great work across formats.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli opened for India n the final T20I against England and did quite well as the team won the series 3-2 as well. After the game, Kohli had said that he will open in the IPL which raised the possibility of him opening with Rohit Sharma in the upcoming T20 World Cup as well.
“Spilt captaincy is needed when your captain is not performing but he (Kohli) is the only player to average more than 50 in all formats. If he isn’t performing in one format you can take the leadership pressure off him and give it to someone else. Just because he has not won an IPL you can’t remove him from India captaincy. He is also the fittest player and captain. Rohit is there to lead the side in his absence but there is no reason to replace Virat,” Sarandeep said to PTI.
On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan was dropped after the first game of the series and Ishan Kishan made his debut and smashed a fifty as well. And, Kohli and Rohit opened in the final and the decider T20I too.
“Rohit and Dhawan is the best option” – Sarandeep Singh
“It was surprising. He (Dhawan) did well in the IPL, he did well in Australia. Whenever he plays he performs. He is mentally very strong. May be they want to try out options but in my view the left-hand right-hand combination of Rohit and Dhawan is the best option for the India at World Cup,” Sarandeep added.
“You can’t judge him on basis of one match. He did well in ODIs after that. The IPL will decide a lot of the team. There are no easy places in the team. Ishan Kishan too will need to do exceptionally well to make the team,” he further added.
He also shared that KL Rahul should continue keeping in the 50-over format and the in-form Rishabh Pant may have to wait for the place in the team with the return of Shreyas Iyer, who is currently injured as he dislocated his shoulder during the first ODI against England in Pune.
“No praise will be enough for Pant. He had some fitness issues, worked on that and worked on his shot selection. If you expect a 21-year-old to play like a 30-year-old, it is tough to start with. You see Hardik (Pandya), the way he bats now with experience, same thing has been seen in Pant now in the last six months or so. He was out of the team which was good for him. There is a right time and right ball to hit. The way he played in Australia, it shows he has gained a lot of experience. He is picking and choosing,” Sarandeep concluded.