After pocketing the T20Is 2-1, Team India now shifts its focus to the ODIs which begins on Tuesday in London. The 3-match series is going to be interesting as it marks the return of the Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan duo at the top of the order. The Southpaw returns to the Indian dressing room after four months and will be eager to go out and exploit the conditions.
The return of Rohit-Dhawan will provide the much-needed strength to the Indian batting line-up. They form India’s second most prolific opening pair in ODIs, only behind the iconic dup of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
As India gear up for the series opener in London, Rohit and Dhawan also eye a huge milestone. They are only six runs away from becoming the second opening pair for India to get 5000 runs among them. The tally of Sachin and Ganguly reads 6609 in 136 innings whereas Dhawan and Rohit are on 4994 runs in 111 innings.
If Rohit and Dhawan manage to get those required six runs in the first ODI against England on Tuesday, they will join the club of opening pairs with 5000-plus runs that includes the legendary West Indies duo of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (5150 runs in 102 innings) and Australia’s Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden (5472 runs in 114 innings).
Ganguly and Sachin stand at top of the list of most hundred partnerships in ODIs – 21. Rohit and Dhawan follow next in the fray with 17 century stands.
After a successful ODI series, the visitors are expected to go with the same strategy in the 50-over format. Though they won’t go ballistic from ball one, the batters are expected to carry their fearless approach from the shortest format.
The three games will be the only 50-over contests India will feature in before the T20 World Cup but Rohit had asserted they still hold a lot of importance.
“All matches are important for us. We can’t play thinking ODIs are not a priority, but we have to keep in mind the workload of each player. We will make changes but our ultimate goal is to win matches. We will not leave that thought process behind,” said Rohit on Sunday after the third T20 at Nottingham.
(With PTI Inputs)