Australia legend Brett Lee has backed Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to come out good in the upcoming Asia Cup. He also said India’s openers will hold key to the team’s game-plan in absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli.

India will have their task cut out when they leave for United Arabia Emirates to defend their Asia Cup title. The Men in Blue will be without their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli. In his absence, the onus will be on Rohit Sharma to lead the team well.  And Brett Lee thinks Rohit along with Shikhar Dhawan holds the key to India’s fortunes.

“Two key batsmen for India in the Asia Cup — Shikhar Dhawan and secondly Rohit Sharma. I believe Rohit will get the best out of himself and also the team because he has been given that extra bit of responsibility to lead the Indian side,” Lee told Star Sports.

“With Virat Kohli not playing, Rohit and Dhawan will be the two key men with the bat for India,” he said.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be key for India in the Asia Cup: Brett Lee (Credits: Getty)

Lee also casted doubts over apprehensions surrounding Rohit’s problems against left-arm pacers.

“The great Virat Kohli is being rested for the tournament, so that allows Shikhar and Rohit to be pushed up. There is a lot of talk about how Rohit can’t face left arm fast bowlers – with the swing and the ball going across him,” said the 41-year-old.

“But, I don’t necessarily agree with that. But what I can say is that in the UAE it will be a different style he will have to face. Yes, they will bring on the left-arm fast bowlers to target Rohit, but I believe on the lower and slower wickets in UAE, Rohit will dominate. I believe the wicket will help him out,” he added.

As far as captaincy is concerned, Rohit enjoys a great record. He has already led India to wins in all the series he has led so far. He captained the team to ODI and T20I series wins over Sri Lanka last year. Earlier this year, India clinched the Nidahas Trophy under his captaincy. Rohit is also the most successful captain in Indian Premier League, having led Mumbai Indians to three titles.

Rohit Sharma will lead India in the Asia Cup (Credits: BCCI)

He was also in good form in England, scoring a century in T20I as well as ODI. On the other hand, Dhawan will have to regain his form after struggling in England. The southpaw has been getting the starts throughout but has not converted any of them so far.

India begin their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong on September 18.