With the Test and T20I series done and dusted, the caravan moves to Pune for the three-match ODI series starting March 23 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. On the eve of the first encounter, India skipper Virat Kohli has confirmed his side’s opening pair for the first ODI against England.
Incidentally, Kohli had confirmed India’s T20I opening pair – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma ahead of the start of the series. But they fielded Shikhar Dhawan in place of Rohit, who was rested for the tie. Throughout the series, India fielded different pairs due to the lack of form with the bat from Dhawan and Rahul. In the last T20I, Virat Kohli partnered Rohit to open the innings which proved to be fruitful as India clinched a thrilling win to seal the series.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will open for India – Virat Kohli
Meanwhile, as the focus shifts to the ODIs, the management will once again contemplate over the opening pair. Kohli, while addressing the press conference ahead of the game, has confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan will accompany Rohit Sharma at the top of the order in the first game of the series. India’s last ODI assignment last year saw Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill partnering with Dhawan at the top in the absence of Rohit, who was nursing an injury he suffered during IPL 2020 in the UAE.
“Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will definitely open in ODIs, there’s no doubt about that,” said Virat Kohli when asked about India’s opening combination for the first ODI against England.
Shikhar Dhawan will be under the scanner with Shubman Gill waiting in the wings for an opportunity after a good debut against Australia. The ODI series can also see Suryakumar Yadav making his ODI debut after a blazing start to the T20I career against England.
The 2nd and the 3rd ODI of the series are on March 26 and 28 and will take place at the same venue. The matches will be played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus scare.