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After Rohit Sharma was rested for the ongoing tour of West Indies, the focus shifted to the make-shift opening pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair have delivered in absence of Rohit Sharma, and the first two ODIs were no exception. Their 114-run partnership in the second ODI match at the Port of Spain was their fourth hundred plus opening stand and the pair continues to set the platform for the middle-order. Dhawan and Rahane have scored 1520 runs in 20 innings with a highest partnership of 231 coming against Sri Lanka at Cuttack in 2014. Their average is a brilliant 76 when they open the innings in the fifty-over format.
Batting has been India’s strength. With their top order batsmen in blazing form, Team India seems invincible. Dhawan, who finished as the highest run-scorer in the Champions Trophy, brought up his 21st ODI fifty before falling to Ashley Nurse on Sunday. Rahane, on the other hand, played a well-composed knock of 103 runs from 104 balls.
Even in the first ODI, the pair had a 132-run stand and it came at an encouraging pace. Rahane emulated Rahul Dravid after becoming only the second Indian batsman to score a hundred against West Indies on Carribean soil. He ended up scoring his third century in his 75th ODI match in a career that stretches back six years now.
Team India is currently placed third in the ICC ODI rankings and trails South Africa, Australia by three and one points respectively. After a comprehensive win in the second ODI, India would now an unassailable lead when the teams meet for the third ODI of the five-match series.