‘Karthik was batting well in practice games. But Dhoni found spot for…’ | Cricket

Just three months before the World T20, India has closed with Suryakumar Yadav as the opener in the West Indies. The tactic seems to have worked as the right-handed batter has won 24, 11 and 76 in the five-game Twenty20 series so far, leaving you wondering if there will be a new opening pair in Australia. Also read | “Virat has had his breaks. If you look at the past two years…’: India Great’s no-nonsense verdict about Kohli being rested

The constant rotation at the top could hurt the side ahead of the T20 showpiece event, but former skipper MS Dhoni promoted Rohit Sharma nearly a decade ago, which remains one of India’s biggest gambles in world cricket. At present, Rohit, the Indian team’s all-format skipper, is regarded as one of the most skilled hitters in contemporary cricket, having played three double centuries in the 50-over format.

In the 2013 Champions Trophy warm-up, Karthik scored an unbeaten 146 against Australia’s quality attack and earned the right to make the playing eleven. The seasoned wicketkeeper batter secured the number 4 spot as the Rohit opened alongside Shikhar Dhawan as part of India’s opening gamble for the tent competition in England.

Former India field coach R Sridhar has spoken of Dhoni’s move that certainly paid off for Indian cricket. He revealed how the former skipper was eager to take Rohit to the next level.

“One decision was made by Dhoni in 2013 Champions Trophy to send Rohit to the opening. Dinesh (Karthik) hit so well in the exhibition games, but Rohit had to play… so management, mainly captain Dhoni, found a place for Rohit at the top of the order. That was a brilliant move,” Sridhar told cricket.com.

Dhoni showed confidence in Rohit’s abilities, which eventually led to the ‘Hitman’ becoming one of the top five scorers of the tournament. Rohit scored 177 runs from five matches and played with an average of 35.40.

Sridhar also praised the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav in the current 20-over set-up, pointing out how Shreyas Iyer fits into the number 3 spot when Virat Kohli is absent from the eleven.

“One move we made in T20s was that Surya came into the team against England a few years ago. He has shown how good he is. Shreyas (Iyer) is back at number 3, which is where he should be being like Virat (Kohli) is not playing,” added Sridhar.

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