Two Mumbaikars -- Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane -- fighting for opening slot

Not long ago, when the well set opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag started struggling with their forms, Team India looked in trouble to find their replacements for the top slot.

By Chaitan Papnai | Last Updated: Nov 03, 2014, 23:56 PM IST
Two Mumbaikars -- Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane -- fighting for opening slot

New Delhi: Not long ago, when the well set opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag started struggling with their forms, Team India looked in trouble to find their replacements for the top slot.

Then, MS Dhoni and Indian selectors decided to try the combination of regular opener Shikhar Dhawan and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma. The newly made pair performed more than what was expected from them, in limited over formats and solved the opening issue to an extent.

But then came another twist in the story when Ajikya Rahane came into the picture. The technically sound batsman, who had got few chances to fill the opening slot earlier in his career, got another chance to open the innings for India, when Sharma was ruled out of England series at Cardiff, after injuring his finger.

The right-handed grabbed the opportunity with both hands this time, as he has scored 366 runs in the last seven innings. More importantly, the 26-year-old looks quite comfortable while opening the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. And on top of it, he negotiates well with the new ball, in any given condition.

But Rahane's sublime form has created a sweet problem for Dhoni, as Sharma is fit again and rearing to go. In fact, he scored a ton in his first competitive match, after recovering from mulitple injuries, while playing for India 'A' against Sri Lanka in a practice match to announce his arrival.

Dhawan being a genuine opener has his slot fixed but when it comes to Rohit and Ajinkya, who have performed decently as openers, will surely put MS Dhoni in a tricky situation, just ahead of the World Cup. Now, the tour of Australia in December will only give a fair idea, as to who would be Dhoni's choice to partner alongside Dhawan.