Ever since the Champions Trophy 2013, India have had a very settled opening pair which has given them great starts and played a pivotal role in them being one of the best ODI teams going around. Rohit Sharma exuded calmness at the crease whereas Dhawan started giving India Sehwag like starts.
It can be rightly said that both of them haven't looked back since then. Their numbers are amazing in 50 overs format and have a staggering 36 ODI centuries between them. But anyone who has been remotely following Shikhar Dhawan knows that his lack of consistency is a big issue ahead of the World Cup 2019.
Although he was the leading run scorer in the last two editions of Champions Trophy and had scored significantly in World Cup 2015, a lot has happened in between which should not go unnoticed ahead of the Mega Tournament.
Dhawan's inability to deal with the moving ball in Test cricket is known to every opposition but now the same issue seems to be affecting his limited overs batting as well. Swing bowlers like Trent Boult, Jyhe Richardson and James Anderson have troubled him every time he has come up against them. A total of 370 runs in 15 games post Asia Cup 2018 says it all. The most noticeable thing in these 15 games has been his inability to counter the moving ball.
India's opening partnership has averaged just 33 in ODI cricket this year which itself is a cause of worry. Virat Kohli has often played sublime knocks to nullify the impact of the fall of an early wicket but if gets dismissed cheaply, the team finds itself in a heap of trouble.
KL Rahul seems to have shrugged off his bad form by scoring more than 100 runs in 2 T20s against Australia. India would be itching to try him again in 50 over format and have an in form opening pair heading into the Mega Tournament. Meanwhile, Dhawan needs to make the best of the limited opportunities left else he may find himself on the sidelines soon.Published 07 Mar 2019, 14:07 IST