Indian cricket has been blessed over the years to have had great openers. Ranging from Sunil Gavaskar-Kris Srikanth to Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly and then Shikhar Dhawan-Rohit Sharma. It is also important to have a great understanding with the partner and hence the partner plays an important role in the partnership. Currently team India primarily have two opening pairs and it is very hard to say which is better. Both the pairs are capable enough and that is a good position to be in for a team. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are the front-line openers for the team and have been successful over the years, But even when Rohit Sharma was missing Ajinkya Rahane fitted in aptly, just showing the bench strength.
So in this article we are going to find out which is a better pair:
Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started opening for India in 6th June 2013, that too in a Champions Trophy match against South Africa in Cardiff. They scored 137 runs and announced themselves as openers. That innings meant India had solved its opening woes. Today, after four years together as openers, the have scored 2586 runs in 55 innings, which in terms of average is even better than the legendary Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
Another stat that is worth mentioning is that all the 9 ODI centuries stand between Rohit and Shikhar led to India’s victory. This is remarkable as it shows that when they get India off to a great start, India inevitably wins.
The duo is just second to Chanderpaul-Gayle (highest runs for any pair) when it comes to Champions Trophy. In fact, these are the only two pairs to have breached the 500-run mark.
Ajinkya Rahane-Shikhar Dhawan: Once Rohit Sharma was given rest for the Caribbean tour, the focus immediately shifted to Ajinkya Rahane, India’s makeshift opener. Not that the two have not opened together in the past. They have a better average than India’s regular openers at 76, which is phenomenal. Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane have scored 1520 runs in 20 innings, with a double century stand as well, 231 against Sri Lanka at Cuttack. The duo is too new to be assessed but knowing that you have such stalwarts in the bench and raring to go helps the team management. In the first washed-away ODI, the duo put on a 132-run stand.
Bottomline: It is good for the team management to be in a situation like this, problems of plenty. But I feel it is a tad-bit unfair to be drawing parallels between the two pairs as both are young and the Ajinkya has just been fitting-in in Rohit’s absence. Do not forget KL Rahul is unfit and he too will be bidding to make a comeback into the blues.