The three-match ODI series between India and Australia starts on the 27th of November. It would be the end of the long wait for many people who were waiting to see the Indian cricket team back in action. The last time India played was way back in March against New Zealand. The squads for all three formats have been announced and there a few changes to the squad. Rohit Sharma, who is India’s white-ball vice-captain has been rested from the ODIs and T20Is so that he gets fit before the Tests.
Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw have been dropped from the ODI squad and Sanju Samson and Shubman Gill have been picked. Shikhar Dhawan who wasn’t a part of the ODI series against New Zealand due to an injury is back in the squad. Shikhar Dhawan will be one of the openers in the ODI format but the question is about the second opener. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, it will be important to see who opens the batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan. India has a few options in the squad and so let’s have a look at three possible opening combinations India might try in this ODI series.
3. Shikhar Dhawan – Shubman Gill
If India wants to try out a youngster then they have the option of Shubman Gill. The 21-year-old had a decent IPL opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders as he scored more than 400 runs. Everybody is aware of the talent he posses and experts are constantly talking about how Shubman Gill is the next big thing in Indian cricket.
Gill has played only two ODIs before in which he scored only 16 runs, but it is a very small sample size to judge any players. If Gill gets an opportunity, he will face the challenge of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins with the new ball which won’t be an easy task. But if you want to be the best then you have to play against the best. Dhawan and Gill could be one of the opening combinations India could think of for this series.
2. Shikhar Dhawan – KL Rahul
KL Rahul is a natural opener and we have all seen what he does when he opens the batting. Rahul even opened the batting in place of Shikhar Dhawan in the World Cup last year and did fairly well. But in the last couple of series, the team management has decided that Rahul is their next wicket-keeper and hence he is batting in the middle-order.
In the ODI series against New Zealand, both the regular openers were missing but still, Rahul didn’t open, and he batted at No.5 where he performed really well. India might stick with him in the middle-order but if they want an option then KL Rahul can provide them as he is well suited to the opener’s role.
1. Shikhar Dhawan – Mayank Agarwal
Shikhar Dhawan along with Mayank Agarwal could be the combination which the Indian team might think of to start off with. Mayank Agarwal had a really good IPL as he scored a lot of runs opening the batting. Agarwal has a solid technique and has faced Starc and Cummins before this in the Test series.
Agarwal has played three ODIs for India but failed to impress in that series against New Zealand. He might get a second opportunity in this series as the team management might go with this opening combination for the ODI series.