Form of openers hurting Team India badly

Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai

Wellington: India performed exceptionally well in the limited over formats in 2013, when they went on to win six consecutive ODI tournaments out of seven. The credit undoubtedly went to the entire team, as it`s a team game. But the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave India solid starts at the top of the order, more often than not, which was one of the major reasons behind team`s successful run.

Rohit-Dhawan opening partnership gave India perfect platform to score big totals or successfully chase down formidable totals. The duo performed so well at the top of the order that Indian fans could hardly miss the absence of two discarded openers – Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

But in the last two series – South Africa tour and recently concluded ODI series in New Zealand – they flopped and subsequently the Indian team`s performance got affected. And India haven`t won a single match in the last seven ODIs.

If Dhawan scored 12,0, 32, 12, 28 and 9 in his last six matches while opening the innings for India, then Rohit too hasn`t performed up to the expectations and has failed to convert his starts into bigger scores. He scored a mere 182 runs in seven matches, which sums up the entire story.

Dhawan was even dropped for a match, for the 4th ODI against New Zealand, due to his poor form. But when he was called back to play the fifth and final ODI of the series, he failed to impress once again.

Disappointing performance by the openers is a big worry for Team India. Dhoni is quite aware of this fact and if they don`t reclaim their form, then the skipper will be forced to take harsh decisions keeping team`s interests in mind.