Former left-arm India spinner Pragyan Ojha has applauded Indian captain Rohit Sharma for giving his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan much-needed time to settle in during the first ODI against England on Tuesday in London. However, it was Jasprit Bumrah’s career-best figures of 6 for 19, the India team only needed to chase 111 for victory. Dhawan, however, looked uncomfortable and Rohit thus decided to take the charge of the partnership. While Rohit remained unbeaten on 76 off 58 balls, Dhawan was unbeaten at 31 not out in 54 balls as well.
He told Cricbuzz: “Rohit Sharma understood that Shikhar Dhawan was making a comeback of sorts (Dhawan only plays ODIs for India now). Dhawan needed some time and this was the perfect platform for him. There were not many runs to get and the full 50 overs to play. Rohit gave him time. It was almost like match practice or match simulation for Dhawan. Rohit just did the job that was expected of him.”
Meanwhile, referring to the Dhawan-Rohit pair as highly valuable, former India left-arm pacer RP Singh has added that the surface wasn’t easy to bat on in the second innings as well. He also praised the Indian captain for taking control of the chase.
Singh said: “The Dhawan-Rohit pair is highly valuable. Even if we look at today’s partnership, the wicket wasn’t easy to bat on. The ball was seaming. The bowlers were bowling in the right areas. Dhawan was not in his normal flow, so Rohit took charge of scoring and allowed Dhawan to settle in.”
During the discussion, Pragyan Ojha also shared an interesting fact about Team India’s head coach Rahul Dravid. He also revealed that the Indian legend used to view one-day matches in England as practice for Tests to be played there as well.
“Dravid, who is now the coach, may have told the same to the openers. It could be because of the advice to get some practice that the Indian openers did not look in any hurry and were taking their time,” Pragyan Ojha concluded.