For the second edition on the trot, India openers have brought out their best in ICC Champions Trophy. No other opening pair in England has been as successful as the Indian pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. At an individual level, both have been excellent with the bat, scoring runs up the order to set a perfect platform for their team.
Dhawan and Rohit came out to open for India for the first time in an ICC ODI tournament during the 2013 Champions Trophy. And in no time, they shared an opening stand of 127 runs against South Africa in Cardiff. It was no one time wonder. They did it again. In the second game against West Indies, Dhawan and Rohit shared their second century stand, this time 101 runs at The Oval. Against Pakistan, they only got 58 in a rain-affected match. Looks like they have continued from where they left in 2013.
First game of 2017 edition of Champions Trophy and Rohit-Dhawan pair opens with another century stand, 136 against Pakistan. Three days back, Rohit and Dhawan achieved their fourth century stand. They bettered their Pakistan stand by two runs against Sri Lanka.
Out of the four times they have gone on to share a century stand, India have put on a 300-plus total on the board. Only once, against West Indies in 2013, India made 233 because they were chasing. Once in four occasions India have lost the match — against Sri Lanka in 2017. The opening pair averages 84.88 in the Champions Trophy, providing solid platform for Indian middle order.
The 127-run stand was highest for any wicket in 2013. The 101 against was seventh in the list. Rohit-Dhawan was the only pair to have two century stands in that tournament.
Individually, Dhawan has been way above the rest when it comes to ICC ODI tournaments. He has scored more than 1000 in the three tournaments he has played. He is also the leading run-scorer since the 2013 Champions Trophy. He was the man-of-the-series in 2013 edition for his 373 runs, the highest. He is once again the highest run-scorer in the ongoing tournament.
Rohit was fourth on the list of highest run-getters and he is currently fifth this year. But with India getting atleast one more match, he can improve and break into the top three.
The success of the opening pair was one of the main reasons for India’s triumph four years back. They are setting up the same way this year as well and India are all set to defend their title in England.