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India’s ideal opening combination for the ODI series

By Bet Barter

November 27, 2020

India returns to international cricket as they take on hosts Australia in the first of 3 ODIs. The 13th edition of the IPL was an incredibly entertaining event, and it threw up a selection of choice questions that haven’t been answered. India will have to rely on KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, and Mayank Agarwal in the absence of Rohit Sharma.

The stats favor Dhawan’s candidature for an opener but who will partner him? Dhawan is currently India’s third-highest run-scorer in wins since January 2013 after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He has scored 3,999 runs in 81 innings including 13 centuries and 21 fifties.

Dhawan had a memorable IPL 2020 campaign

After a fruitful IPL 2020 campaign, Shikhar Dhawan has cemented his place in the ODI and T20I sides. The veteran southpaw will incorporate fantastic expertise and versatility in the absence of his typical opening companion.

Dhawan is probably to be opening with Mayank Agarwal in ODI series against Australia. The Kings XI Punjab opener has a level of competition from Shubman Gill and KL Rahul. Mayank will be the first option for the position because of his current variety and relative knowledge.

KL Rahul will be taking over as the vice-captain of the white-ball format and also finds a place in the Test side. If Rohit Sharma is unable to attain Australia in time, Rahul may open the innings in the longer format. Rahul will be India's first-choice wicket-keeper against Australia, and opening the batting as well might increase his workload.

Mayank Agarwal to play all the formats

Gill, on the other hand, was extraordinary with the bat in IPL 2020 but has not performed ample at the worldwide level. Mayank Agarwal has been named in all three formats for the first time in his relatively quick international profession. The 29-year-old is on the verge of becoming a mainstay in the Indian team.

If Agarwal does open with Shikhar, Rahul will have to shift down to No. 5 followings with either Hardik Pandya or Manish Pandey. Gill could warm the bench initially but could be given a chance by the time the third ODI rolls about. Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal to likely to open the series and KL Rahul to bat at No. 5.

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