Last night’s win against Australia was something that every Indian player would have dreamt of. As usual the match turned out to be a one man show, all thanks to the master talent Kohli. Such dependence on him or one can say the failure of the other batsmen to yield any good result has raised serious questions about the top order batting line-up of India. Standing first in the cue of defaulters are openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
Shikhar’s long lost greatness
No doubt Shikhar Dhawan has proven his calibre by playing memorable knocks in the early years of his career. His test debut against Australia in 2013, which highlighted him breaking the record of the fastest century for an Indian deserves a fair mention in this. The left-handed opener played one of the most crucial innings (187) of his career in that very match. His session in the 2013 IPL, where he made a comeback after recovering from an injury, was amongst the best of his seasons in the subcontinent’s Premier League.
Scoring 300 odd runs in 10 matches of the season with 3 spectacular fifties, Dhawan topped the table for Sunrisers Hyderabad. His brilliant form was maintained in the following ICC Champions Trophy which won him the Golden bat award for scoring 363 runs, the most by any player in the coveted tournament. The Cricket world had the luxury of witnessing the best of this Indian talent in the 2015 World Cup also. With two major tons and a fifty, Dhawan outshined many of the players in the tournament.
The Equally prolific Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma on the other hand is a player of different breed. When Dhawan relies on his aggressive and sometimes unorthodox hitting abilities, Sharma banks on his methodical game play. Though he could not produce any big knocks like Dhawan in his debut year, he stood as one of the promising batsman in the Indian contingent in the later times. His career highs include numerous knocks he hit in the last 3 years and that also include the record of scoring the highest runs in ODIs (264).
Turbulant times for them in the current phase
The successful partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in the 2013 Champions Trophy and 2015 World cup presented team India with a slot of efficient openers in the limited format of the game.
Inspite their terrific form in 2015, they failed miserably in the Asia Cup and now the ongoing T20 world cup has also no stat of them to talk of. If one can leave aside Shikhar’s single knock of 60 runs against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, he would be left with nothing else to go through.
Failures of this once a hero opener continued in the succeeding T20 world Cup. Till now he has contributed only 43 runs in 4 matches and such stat goes completely unacceptable for a batsman of his kind. His routine partner in both the tournaments, Rohit Sharma share a similar story. 5, 10, 18 and 12 in 4 matches till now decipher Rohit’s failures the very best.
Words for the Captain
Now, it is high time the captain Dhoni ponder over his judgements about these two potentials for the rest of the tournament. Though the batting line-up has got a strong backing by Virat Kohli, it would certainly be wise of the captain to make a replacement of Ajinkya Rahane between these two. Rahane has been one of the team’s best produce and his consistency is something that the whole team India can vouch on.