5 Possible Opening Combinations For ODI Series Against South Africa If Rohit Sharma Misses It

After the completion of the Test series, Team India will be involved in a three-match ODI competition against South Africa from January 19th. Rohit Sharma has suffered a left hamstring injury and will miss the Tests. There is a possibility that he could miss the ODIs, as well. It has to be noted that Rohit Sharma was recently appointed as the captain of the Indian ODI Team. Hence, it will be a big blow for Team India. On the flip side, a couple of other players will get an opportunity to showcase their skills. In this article, we take a look at five possible opening combinations for the ODI series against South Africa if Rohit Sharma misses it.

1) KL Rahul – Shikhar Dhawan

KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan will be one of the possible opening combinations for the ODI series against South Africa. If Rohit Sharma misses the series, in all likelihood, KL Rahul will captain Team India.

However, it needs to be seen if he will open the batting. Recently, KL has done well in the middle-order, and he might as well take up the role. That said, with Rohit missing, India might need an in-form cricketer at the top. Hence, KL might open. Shikhar Dhawan might receive a chance in the ODI setup. It will be an important assignment for the southpaw if he gets it. If Rohit is missing, Dhawan’s position in the squad will also help the balance of the team.


2) KL Rahul – Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad is in top form at the moment. He won the Orange Cap in IPL 2021 and recently made four centuries in five games at the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Hence, his selection to the ODI squad is almost certain.

Ruturaj is still new to the team, and hence, KL could be his partner. Both the players have similar strategies, and it would not be a surprise if the management does not consider this combination. However, if Rohit misses the series, this is the duo that is likely to open for India against the Proteas.

3) Ruturaj Gaikwad – Shikhar Dhawan

If KL Rahul decides to play in the middle-order, both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shikhar Dhawan might get a chance. This will be an interesting combination as the duo could complement each other very well. India can also tick the box of a left-right combination at the top.


That said, both players will be fighting for their spot in the team. Hence, they might be conservative at the start. This could affect Team India’s chances in the game. However, if each player gets a well-defined role, this combination could click for the team.

4) Ruturaj Gaikwad – Ishan Kishan

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan will also be one of the possible opening combinations for the ODI series against South Africa. The Indian fans will be excited about this combo as this provides a glimpse of the future.

In multiple aspects, this combination could work well for Team India. While two deserving candidates get their opportunities, India will also fulfil the left-right combination. In terms of approach, too, this duo could do well. While Ishan is known for his quick starts, Rutu can take it slow and then accelerate, the strategy that he usually follows.


5) Prithvi Shaw – Ruturaj Gaikwad

Amidst the crop of new opening options, the management must not forget Prithvi Shaw, who has not got a lot of opportunities recently. He was brilliant in last year’s VHT but barring the series against Sri Lanka, he is yet to find a place in the team. In fact, against Sri Lanka, Shaw looked to be in good form.

Hence, if KL Rahul is playing in the middle-order, India could try out the combination of Shaw and Gaikwad. Much like the Ishan-Gaikwad combo, the Shaw and Gaikwad pair could also complement each other very well.


Nesara V Jagannatha

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