Michael Vaughan has likened India's new T20I opening combination of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to one of the greatest partnerships of all time, the one forged by Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened together for the first time in international cricket on Saturday against England in the 5th T20I. The duo weaved a blistering stand of 94 runs off just 56 balls to lay the foundation for India's 36-run victory.
Speaking to Cricbuzz after the game, Michael Vaughan remembered that Tendulkar's steadfastness at one end dovetailed perfectly with Virender Sehwag's aggression at the other. The former England captain suggested that Virat Kohli can play a similar anchor's role as Tendulkar in this Indian team.
"Yeah, as pretty on the eye as Sachin and Virender Sehwag were... I mean Sehwag would go out there and play [aggressively] from ball one because he knew he had the consistency of Sachin at the other end. And Sachin just batted, always had a great strike rate because he got tremendous options off-side, on-side, front foot, back foot and that's what Virat will bring to India," said Michael Vaughan.
Michael Vaughan also said that the rise of Suryakumar Yadav, who scored 89 runs at 44.50 in the series, played a major role in forming a 'formidable' top-three for India.
"I was saying at the halfway house, have India stumbled across their best combination? We'll have to wait and see. This may have been a plan by Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli to get to this combination but it seems to me they have stumbled across it. And because Suryakumar Yadav has played so well at No. 3, to me he looks like he's completely made for international cricket, Virat had to go to open because you can't have him at number 4. That top-3 now looks formidable," added Michael Vaughan.
In their record-studded careers, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag collected over 3900 runs together, that included eighteen half-century stands and twelve century partnerships.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli coming out to bat at the top will intimidate their oppositions: Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan further remarked that this new opening combination of two of the world's fiercest white-ball players is good enough to "intimidate any opposition." He cited the example of how Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli foiled the England pacers' plan to bowl short-of-length balls in the powerplay.
"I have always looked at intimidating opposing teams and when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma stroll out there, you've only got 120 balls, they will intimidate teams because you know the way they can play. They make batting looks so easy. You can't go short to them so the short nature of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer in the first few games make work against lesser players but it's not going to work on these kinds of wickets against Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma," said Michael Vaughan.
After completing a 3-2 series win over England in the shortest format, Virat Kohli and co. will meet their opponents in a 3-match ODI series beginning on March 23.
Meanwhile, fans around the world can get another glimpse at Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag's endearing camaraderie on Sunday (March 21). The duo will walk out to open the innings for India Legends in the Road Safety World Series final.