22 Mar 2021: India vs England: 'Rohit, Dhawan to open', confirms Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are set to start as openers for India in the upcoming ODI series against England.
Indian captain Virat Kohli confirmed the same on the eve of opening clash.
Kohli said there were no "issues or doubts" about the opening combination of Rohit and Dhawan in the ODIs, and that they had been "amazing" lately.
Here is more.
Statement: No issues about the opening pair in ODIs: Kohli
Speaking on the opening combination, Kohli said, "As far as the opening combination is concerned, yeah, Shikhar and Rohit will definitely start."
"When it comes to one-day cricket I don't think there's any issues or doubts over Rohit or Shikhar opening together. They have been amazing for us for the past few years. Yeah, so we'll start with that."
Combinations: India's opening combinations have been under the scanner
Team India's combinations at the top had been under the scanner in the recently-concluded T20I series.
Interestingly, the hosts tried four different opening combinations in the five-match series.
India retained the combination only once in the series (4th T20I: KL Rahul and Rohit).
However, the Indian skipper has now stated that Dhawan and Rohit will be backed for the impending series.
Fact: A look at recent record of Dhawan and Rohit (partnership)
Since March 22, 2018, Rohit and Dhawan have scored third-most runs as a pair in ODIs. They have amassed 1,479 runs from 32 ODIs, including four century-stands. The duo is only behind Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy (1,831) and Aaron Finch and David Warner (1,512).
Dhawan: Dhawan will aim to start on a positive note
Although Rohit's credentials in white-ball cricket are well known, questions have been raised on the inconsistent Dhawan.
The left-handed batsman registered scores of 74, 30 and 16 in ODIs on the Australian tour. Thereafter, his form dipped in the domestic circuit.
However, he finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a knock of 153 (118), and followed it up with a 50-ball 44.
KL Rahul: Will Rahul be backed by the management?
Besides the opening combination, skipper Kohli also spoke about the lean patch of Rahul.
He said Rahul should ignore all the "outside chat", presently.
Notably, the latter recently recorded scores of 14, 0, 0 and 1 while opening in T20Is against England.
It remains to be seen if he gets backed in the presence of Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
Advice: Here is what Kohli said on Rahul
"It's a simple game: you have to watch the ball and react and hit the ball. You have to be in the moment and all this outside talk, to be very honest, is completely nonsense," said Kohli on Rahul.
"From the first to the last day of my career, all this outside talk has been nonsense to me."