Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni has been one of those leaders in the cricketing world who is known for his decisions (read gambles) and one of those came in Cardiff back in 2013 when he sent Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings against South Africa in the first group match of Champions Trophy. The right-left combination didn’t disappoint their skipper and went on to compile a stand of 127 runs for the first wicket to end India’s search of a perfect opening pair in limited overs cricket.
Four years down the line, the two batsmen are back to where they belong. India faced Pakistan in their opening match in this edition of ICC Champions Trophy and Sharma and Dhawan notched up yet another century stand and put on 136 runs to kick-start the campaign and become the second batting pair to go past 500-run mark in Champions Trophy. Only Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle have more runs as they have scored 635 runs in total.
Both were off to a watchful start but switched gears in the middle overs. Dhawan was later undone by Shadab Khan after Azhar Ali took a good catch in the deep for 68.
This was the third century stand between Dhawan and Rohit and they have now surpassed the record set by Chris Gayle-Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Herschelle Gibbs-Greame Smith. The two opening pairs achieved the feat twice. Dhawan-Rohit also have three 50+ scores together.
The two players last opened the innings for India in an ODI against Australia in 2016 and smashed 123 for the first wicket. India later won the match by 6 wickets.