Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan opening pair for next ODI World Cup: Pragyan Ojha
Image: BCCI

Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan opening pair for next ODI World Cup: Pragyan Ojha: The next T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia, is just three months away and most of the players are targeting the tournament to seal their place in the Indian squad. With more than 40 players in the reckoning, the selection of the final 20 players, who will travel Down Under for the T20 World Cup 2022, will be interesting.

Although most of the Indian players are focused on the T20 World Cup 2021, Shikhar Dhawan, who is out of the Indian T20I and Test setup for a long time, will aim to secure his seat in the ODI World Cup 2023

In the 50-overs format, Shikhar Dhawan has kept his dominance unharmed even though he saw a dip in his T20I and Test form. The Rohit-Dhawan opening pair has been fruitful for the Indian squad for several years and the management still prefers the duo over any other in the format.

Pragyan Ojha, the former Indian cricketer and current member of IPL GC, reckons Shikhar Dhawan is completely in the mix of players for the 2023 ODI World Cup. 

“I am seeing the right signs. When you look at a senior player, you have to see what is happening to them. He’s in the mix [for the 2023 ODI World Cup] and now, when the seniors are not there and he is just playing one format,” said Pragyan Ojha.

The 36-years old Indian opener has recently led India against West Indies in the three matches ODI series. In fact, Dhawan and Co swept the Windies in their backyard.

“He’s the captain, the leader of the pack, and the batting which looked rusty in England is now looking better… he is trying to get into that space. It is clear that Rohit Sharma wants Shikhar because they both have very good partnerships,” Ojha told

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings for India in the Champions Trophy 2013 for the first time and since then there is no looking back for the duo, especially in the 50-overs format. The pair recently completed their 5000 runs as an ODI opening duo and are the fourth pair in the world to achieve the milestone.

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“They have both done a brilliant job together. I think in world cricket they are third or fourth [sic: fourth highest in ODIs as an opening pair] and Rohit believes that if someone is consistently performing or has done really well over the years, he can’t be discarded. Rohit definitely gives you that cushion and it’s a good thing, because in ICC events, you need that little bit of experience.”

Ojha further explained that Dhawan’s fitness at the age of 36 years is his biggest strength. He pointed out that if MS Dhoni can play at the age of 40 or 41 being fit then Shikhar Dhawan can play as well.

“Rohit has said this and he is sticking to it. I am confident that Shikhar will be in the mix unless there is some forced change. I think he’s in a pretty good space and he is fit and that is the benchmark. You can’t just fool around with not being fit.”

“If you see MS Dhoni at 40 or 41, he made a statement where he said that if I am part of a team, I may or may not perform but nobody should be able to tell that MS Dhoni is not fit. If I am fit, if I am running around and doing everything that a young guy can do then I am happy that I am giving my best,” Ojha pointed out.

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