India captain Virat Kohli has revealed the opening pair of India in ODIs – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped from the squad after the first T20I, will return to his usual opening slot along with Rohit Sharma in the first ODI against England at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, India captain Virat Kohli confirmed on Monday.
India used as many as four opening combinations in the recently-concluded five-match T20 International series against England. But they didn’t get the desired result in any of them apart from the final one where Kohli and Sharma opened and laid the winning foundation.
“As far as the opening partnership is concerned, Shikhar and Rohit will definitely start. When it comes to ODI cricket, I don’t think there is any issue or doubt over Rohit or Shikhar opening together. They have been amazing for us in the past few years,” said Virat Kohli while speaking to the media in the pre-match media interaction.
However, Dhawan has only played nine ODIs since June 2019, owing to the thumb injury that he had sustained during the ICC Cricket World Cup. However, among 9 games, he got to bat in 7 and scored 2, 36, 74, 96, 74, 30 and 16, averaging 46.85.
“They have been amazing for us in the past few years” – Virat Kohli on Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
However, Team India will play the IPL and then they will tour to England for the World Test Championship final in June where India take on New Zealand. Later this year, India will host T20 World Cup as well. And, Virat Kohli said that since scheduling is not in their hands they will have to take care of the workload and manage it properly too.
“Scheduling is something that is not in our control. For us, it is an international game. Every international game is important and has value. It is an opportunity to represent your team and for us that remains the sole focus,” he shared
Yes, as I have said many times in the past that scheduling and workload is something that everyone has to be aware of and keep an eye out for. Especially in today’s day and age where you just don’t know when the restrictions might come in and you may even have to play in bubbles in the future,” further added Kohli.
“I think it is very important to consider how much cricket you are playing – not just the physical side of things but also the mental side of things. The players need to be spoken to and consulted with. Otherwise it is going to be a case with whoever can last through difficult times, players who don’t last move away and someone else replaces that player,” he told.
“I don’t think that is healthy for the cricket system and cricket culture moving forward. We definitely want to make it (system and culture) stronger and stronger going forward in the future,” Virat Kohli concluded.