Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, as a pair, have given opponents plenty of headaches over the years. They are currently two of India’s most dependable batters at the top of the order, having scored 4,847 runs in 109 ODIs at an average of 44.87. The duo also shared 13 century stands. But during their early days as openers, Rohit used to face some problems while batting with Dhawan.
Rohit, who turned 33 a few days ago, said that Shikhar hardly took strike on the first ball as he was a bit scared to face the fast bowlers. The Nagpur-born narrated an incident from the 2013 Champions Trophy match against South Africa where Dhawan urged his partner to take strike. Rohit, back then, wasn’t an experienced opener and had his own apprehensions.
“He’s an idiot, what can I say. He doesn’t like to face the first ball. He likes to take on the spinners, but he does not like to take on the fast bowlers,” Rohit was quoted as saying during a chat with Australian batsman David Warner on Instagram Live.
That was my first experience with Shikhar: Rohit Sharma
“I remember back in 2013, the day when I started opening batting for India in limited-overs cricket. I remember it was my second innings as an opener in the Champions Trophy. We were playing against South Africa… against guys like Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn. I had never faced them with the new ball. So, I told Shikhar ‘you gotta take the strike, man’.
“But he was like ‘no, Rohit. You have been playing for a while. This is my first over. I can’t. You gotta do it’. That was my first experience with Shikhar. But now we are comfortable with each other,” he added.
Even Warner, who has played alongside Dhawan for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said that the southpaw always asked him to take first strike. Dhawan is currently a part of the Delhi Capitals (DC) after being traded ahead of the last season.
Warner, on the other hand, is the leading run-scorers among foreign players in the IPL and has won the Orange Cap plenty of times. He also won SRH the title back in 2016.
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