ICC World Cup 2019: Why Shikhar Dhawan will be India's go-to man
Since the upsurge of one-day games in the 1990s, India has produced some of the best ODI openers of all time. From the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag, to the present day opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, Indian cricket has always been blessed with excellent openers. However, when it comes to ICC ODI events, India has produced only a few have who have excelled in big games.
The current Indian openers are among the best in the world. Their consistent run-scoring ability has stunned everyone. They have managed to perform both at overseas and in home conditions with the same intent. There is never an indication of a lack of self-belief and that is a great quality to have as an opening pair.
Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are excellent ODI players in their own right and there is not much to separate between them. Rohit started much earlier than Dhawan, but their careers started booming when they began opening as a pair for India.
India has performed exceptionally well in the three ICC ODI tournaments held after the World Cup 2011 in this decade so far, and it has been mainly because of the consistent performances from the openers.
Rohit and Dhawan have been the top two run scorers for their team in all the three ICC ODI events held in last 8 years. Due to their consistent solid opening partnerships, India won the Champions Trophy in 2013, reached the semifinals of World Cup 2015 and narrowly missed out on winning the Champions Trophy for the second time in 2017.
But when we go through the record books, it is found that Dhawan has been more effective and consistent with his run-scoring in big events. In 115 one-day games that Shikhar has played for India, he has scored 4935 runs at an impressive average of 45.69 and a brilliant strike rate of 94.29, garnished with 15 stylish centuries and 25 quickfire half-centuries.
Let us go deep into some of the stats which shows the importance of having Shikhar Dhawan in the team and why he will be India's go-to man in the upcoming edition of the World Cup.