Aakash Chopra believes that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul must be the preferred opening partnership in T20Is, but added that Dhawan is not far away from the duo. Chopra believes that the Rohit-Dhawan partnership has a lot more to offer and added that Rahul if need be, could fit in the middle-order.
The 2010s saw the prolific and destructive opening pairing of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan rule world cricket in limited-overs for over 75% of the decade, ever since they started batting together in 2013. However, injuries to the southpaw Dhawan and KL Rahul’s meteoric rise in the shortest format has seen the Men in Blue, of late, instead opt for the Rohit-Rahul pair in T20Is, despite Dhawan still being the first-choice opener in ODI cricket. The enormous competition up top has divided opinions as to who should partner Rohit in the upcoming World T20, with Dhawan and Rahul, both, having a good claim for the same.
Former cricketer and now-renowned commentator Aakash Chopra gave his take on the dilemma and admitted that Rohit and Rahul should be the preferred opening pair in T20I cricket, but opined that Dhawan should definitely be kept in the loop.
"I don't think it is the end of Rohit- Dhawan partnership. Even in T20 cricket Shikhar Dhawan has made him relevant now. Dhawan is not far behind Rohit and Rahul now. I still feel that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should be the first preference in T20Is but in ODIs you just can't ignore Dhawan,” Chopra said in his YouTube channel, reported Times Now.
Whilst Rahul has continued to open in T20Is, he has, however, shifted base in ODI cricket, with him donning the finisher role in the 50-over format, batting at No.5. Thus, Chopra opined that Rahul, if the need arises, could bat at No.5 even in T20I cricket, giving space for Dhawan up top. The 42-year-old attested that world cricket will see a lot more of the prolific Rohit-Dhawan opening combo in the years to come.
“We will see a lot of Rohit and Dhawan partnership. KL Rahul anyways, settles down in the middle-order of Indian batting line-up."
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