With the World cup T20I just 2 months away, a lot of attention is centering around what will be the opening combination for India in the coming mega event as there are a lot of options to choose from. Let us explore the different possible combinations.
Rohit – Rahul :
In current form, this appears the best option. Both of them are doing superbly in tests in England and though T20I is a different format, the confidence of doing well in one format tends to extend in another. Rohit looks like the one confirmed candidate as a T20I opener with his huge experience and ability to raise the tempo any time. KL Rahul can be the best opening partner with his brilliant strike rate of 140 plus in T20Is and his ability to use his gifted wrists for 360-degree shots without apparently playing too risky shots. Together Rohit & Rahul averages 45 in their T20I opening stands having scored 586 runs in 13 games at a high strike rate
Rohit – Dhawan
Probably the next best option. An added advantage is a left-right combination. Dhawan had been criticised in the past for a slower strike rate in the region of 120s but in IPL 2020 he improved his strike rate greatly to 144. Moreover, Dhawan is good on sluggish pitches building up the innings. Due to their regular opening stand in ODIs, Rohit – Dhawan has great understanding too.
Rohit – Kohli
Virat Kohli during the T20I series vs England at home in March expressed his willingness to open with Rohit in world T20I and had a rollicking stand with his vice-captain of 94 for the opening stand with himself hitting 80 not out of 52 balls and Rohit smashing 64 off 34 balls. However, with so many candidates around and Virat’s ability to shepherd the innings from number 3 may not make his opening pair a reality in the T20I world cup
Rohit- Ishan Kishan
23-year-old Ishan Kishan is capable of scoring runs at a blazing pace and already has a 145 strike rate in the 3 T20Is he has played for India. His IPL strike rate is 131. He is a brutal hitter in powerplays and can decimate any bowling attack. This is a fair chance of him opening with Rohit . The left-handed Jharkhand and Mumbai Indians player will be very handy on batting wickets and slightly smaller grounds. He can hit sixes at will.
Rohit – Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw has suddenly made himself a big contender for the T20I squad with his rampant 166 strike rate in IPL 2021 for his 308 runs in the unfinished event. His shot selection has improved by leaps and bounds and he is finding the gaps with sheer timing. He can be a strong candidate too for opening. However, he needs to improve his T20 fielding.
Rohit – Paddikal
Devdutt Paddikal is considered as one of the best young talents and he is expected to play long for India. The tall lefthander with a 132 strike rate in IPL can also be a contender to open with Rohit. However, he has had an average start to his T20I career. Nevertheless, a strong finish in IPL 2021 might enhance his chances out of nowhere.