Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have formed the most successful opening partnership among the current players. The duo have not looked back since opening the innings together in 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Dhawan and Rohit are the fourth most prolific opening pair in the history of the ODIs. So far, they have amassed 4,318 runs with the help of 14 century and 13 fifty stands. The two will have a big role to play for India in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. However, spin legend Shane Warne believes a new-opening combination for India in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 could be ‘pretty cool’.
The former Australia spinner feels that opening the innings with Rohit and Rishabh Pant, whose place in the World Cup squad is not fixed yet, will surprise the opponents. Well, in the past the World Cup has witnessed some new and successful opening combinations. In the 1992 World Cup, Martin Crowe-led New Zealand had surprised their opponents by promoting Mark Greatbatch up the order as an out-and-out hitter. 4 years later, Sri Lanka did the same by promoting dangerous power hitters Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana up the order and it paid off.
And Shane Warne believes something similar from India could be pretty exciting.
“There has been talk if Rishabh Pant can play in the side. I think Dhoni and Pant both can play. I can’t see why Rishabh Pant can’t play as a batsman, he is outstanding. Maybe even open the batting with Rohit Sharma. I know Shikhar Dhawan does a great job but Rishabh Pant opening the batting with Rohit Sharma could be pretty cool too for India. Go with some of these X-factor type things and tactical battles, where you surprise the opposition,” Shane Warne told India Today.
The decision to break Dhawan and Rohit’s partnership will undoubtedly attract a lot of criticism but then again Warne has never shied away from taking the gambles.
He said that India could try out Pant as an opener in the upcoming series against Australia.
“It could be worth throwing Rishabh Pant at the top of the order for a couple of games and see how he goes. Maybe against Australia now [upcoming series] and experiment and see how he goes for the World Cup. Dhawan may have a role to play somewhere else. But I am really looking forward to seeing what India have because they have a lot of players who can do a lot of roles,” said Shane Warne.
India will host Australia for two T20Is and five ODIs later this month. The series will be India’s last assignment before they fly out to England for the World Cup, starting on May 30.