Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan opening pair for the next ODI World Cup: Pragyan Ojha: The next T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia, is just three months away and most players are focusing on the tournament to secure their place in the Indian squad. With over 40 players in the draw, the roster of the final 20 players to travel Down Under for the 2022 T20 World Cup will be interesting.
While most Indian players are focused on the 2021 T20 World Cup, Shikhar Dhawan, who has been out of the Indian T20I and Test setup for a long time, will aim to secure his place in the 2023 ODI World Cup.
In the 50-overs format, Shikhar Dhawan has maintained his dominance unscathed, even though he saw a dip in his T20I and test form. Opening pair Rohit-Dhawan has been prolific for the Indian squad for several years now and management still prefers the duo over any other in the format.
Pragyan Ojha, the former Indian cricketer and current member of IPL GC, thinks Shikhar Dhawan is completely in the mix of players for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
“I see the right signals. When you look at an older player, you should see what happens to him. He’s in the mix [for the 2023 ODI World Cup] and now when the seniors are not there and he only plays one format,” said Pragyan Ojha.
The 36-year-old Indian opener recently led India against the West Indies in the three-game ODI series. In fact, Dhawan and Co swept the Windies into their backyard.
“He’s the captain, the leader of the pack, and the batting that looked rusty in England now looks better … he’s trying to get into that space. Obviously Rohit Sharma wants Shikhar as they are both very have good partnerships,” Ojha told
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan first opened the innings for India in the 2013 Champions Trophy and there has been no looking back for the duo since then, especially in the 50-overs format. The pair recently completed their 5000 runs as the ODI opening duo and are the fourth pair in the world to reach the milestone.
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“They both did a fantastic job together. I think they are third or fourth in world cricket [sic: fourth highest in ODIs as an opening pair] and Rohit believes that if someone performs consistently or has done very well over the years, they cannot be thrown out. Rohit definitely gives you that kiss and that’s a good thing, because at ICC events you need that bit of experience.”
Ojha further explained that Dhawan’s fitness at age 36 is his greatest strength. He pointed out that if MS Dhoni can play at the age of 40 or 41 are fit, Shikhar Dhawan can play too.
“Rohit has said this and he’s sticking to it. I’m confident Shikhar will be in the mix unless there’s a forced change. I think he’s in a pretty good space and he’s fit and that’s the benchmark You can’t just do anything if you’re not fit.”
“If you see MS Dhoni at 40 or 41, he made a statement saying that if I am part of a team I may or may not perform, but no one should be able to tell that MS Dhoni is not fit When I’m fit, when I’m walking around and doing everything a young guy can do, I’m happy to do my best,” Ojha emphasized.
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