Team India captain Virat Kohli confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan will open the innings along with Rohit Sharma in the ODIs against England. He reaffirmed the duo are the first-choice in the 50-over format for the opening role.
Rohit Sharma will play an ODI match after 14 months. He last featured in an ODI game in the home series against Australia in January 2020. Shikhar Dhawan, meanwhile, played in the three-match ODI series in Australia towards the end of last year. He scored 120 runs in that series at an average of 40.
"As far as the opening combination is concerned, Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma) will definitely start. When it comes to one-day cricket, I don't think there are any issues or doubts with Rohit or Shikhar opening together," said Virat Kohli during the press conference ahead of the ODI series.
Virat Kohli also added that Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been great for the team over the last few years. This would imply that Shubman Gill will have to wait for his opportunity in the 50-over format.
The Indian skipper also suggested he is keen to see how other youngsters who made it to the squad for the first time go about their business in this series.
"They've been amazing for us over the past few years. Yes, we are going to start with that...the other factors, it'll be interesting because there are a few youngsters finding an opportunity in the one-day set-up for the first time. I'm very keen to see how they go about executing their skills against a strong England side," Virat Kohli added.
An opportunity for Virat Kohli and Team India to clinch the ICC No.1 ODI rank
The India-England series will see the top two teams in the ICC ODI rankings go head-to-head. Virat Kohli and his team have a wonderful opportunity to displace England from the top spot and clinch the No.1 spot.
But for them to do that, India will have to win all three games in this series. At the same time, the hosts could potentially fall to the third spot if they lose the series.
All three ODI games in the upcoming series will be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune.