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Opening partner doesn't matter to me, says Rohit Sharma

Aadya Sharma
2.38K   //    15 Sep 2017, 16:33 IST

The Indian team will be without the Rohit-Dhawan duo, at least for the first 3 ODIs
The Indian team will be without the Rohit-Dhawan duo, at least for the first three ODIs

What's the story?

India's vice-captain Rohit Sharma has stated that his approach to batting stays the same, irrespective of his opening partner at the other end. Speaking to the media ahead of the first ODI between India and Australia at Chepauk, he said:

"My opening partner doesn't matter, what matters is the condition and the opposition. My main is to give the team a good start. If the other person is struggling, then I take up that role, and if I am struggling, he takes it. This is the kind of planning we have in the setup and there is no confusion regarding the same".

In case you didn't know...

Ever since he struck gold while opening the batting for India in 2013, Rohit has been the mainstay at the top of the order, often taking his time to get going but ending with mammoth scores by the time he completes his innings.

The only batsman to score two double centuries in ODIs, Rohit had been out of cricket for six months, but made an eventful comeback in the Champions Trophy, and has scored three centuries in 10 games since.

The heart of the matter

When asked about how his approach changes when the batsman at the other end is someone like Ajinkya Rahane, whose batting style is in contrast to a more dominating Shikhar Dhawan, the 30-year-old Rohit said that it is all about "complementing each other and getting the team off to a good start".

Speaking about the opening combination in the absence of Dhawan, Rohit did not divulge one particular name, but said that there are multiple options that give the team a lot of flexibility.

What's next?

Having unofficially started off his deputy role under Virat Kohli in the Champions Trophy, Rohit will look to continue his form against the Australians, an opposition whom he loves facing.

Author's take

Rohit's meteoric rise since 2013 as an opener is an often-talked about aspect while recalling Team India's stellar performances in the recent past. Irrespective of the situation, Rohit knows that his strength lies in starting off slowly and solidly, and staying in the middle for long.

If Rahane does get to open, the run-rates might not soar as much as, perhaps, when a Dhawan is batting, but given that Rohit's re-assuring presence will be in the middle, coupled with the arsenal the team has in the middle order, scoring rates in the initial part won't matter as much.

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