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Sarandeep Singh backs Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan opening combination for T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma (L) and Shikhar Dhawan
Rohit Sharma (L) and Shikhar Dhawan
Modified 30 Mar 2021

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh has backed Shikhar Dhawan to open alongside Rohit Sharma in the upcoming T20 World Cup, despite skipper Virat Kohli also showing interest in the position.

Calling for Team India to stick with the 'mentally strong' southpaw, Sarandeep Singh said the experienced left-hand right-hand combination of Dhawan and Rohit is the best opening alternative for the marquee tournament.

โ€œIt was surprising. He (Dhawan) did well in the IPL, he did well in Australia. Whenever he plays he performs. He is mentally very strong. Maybe they want to try out options but in my view, the left-hand right-hand combination of Rohit and Dhawan is the best option for India at the World Cup. You canโ€™t judge him on basis of one match. He did well in ODIs after that," said Sarandeep Singh.

The recently concluded T20I series against England was touted as the perfect dry run ahead of the World Cup.

India tried out four different opening combinations in the five-match series. Shikhar Dhawan failed in the first game and was subsequently dropped while KL Rahul was backed for the first four games.

Dhawan returned to the top of the order in the ensuing ODI series, scoring 169 runs from three innings at an average of 56.33.

Ishan Kishan will need to do exceptionally well in the IPL to stay in the Indian team: Sarandeep Singh

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan

Youngster Ishan Kishan replaced Dhawan at the top of the order in the second T20I. He smashed a match-winning 56, but was pushed down to No. 3 in the next game to accommodate Rohit Sharma.

Kishan managed to score just 4 runs in the third T20I and played no further part in the series after picking up an injury. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli then opened in the decider, notching an exhilarating 94-run stand to seal the 3-2 series win.

Sarandeep Singh remarked that the impending season of the Indian Premier League will play a major role in solving the opening conundrum.

"The IPL will decide a lot of the team. There are no easy places in the team. Ishan Kishan too will need to do exceptionally well to make the team,โ€ said Sarandeep Singh.

IPL 2021 kicks off with the clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians on April 9.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 15:28 IST
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