Dhawan keeps Rahul and Rohit on their toes for opening spot

Openers are all in form

Shikar Dhawan India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy 2013

Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan capped a relatively successful return to T20I cricket with a half-century in Friday's series decider against Sri Lanka in Pune.

India won the match by 78 runs, sealing a two-nil series win. They had won the second match in Indore, too, while the first in Guwahati was washed out. India and Australia will contest three ODIs this month. Bet365 have India priced at 1.53 to win that series.

The series against Sri Lanka marked Dhawan's first Indian appearances since early November 2019 against Bangladesh. He fared particularly well against fast bowler Lasith Malinga on Friday. Malinga bowled four overs for 40 runs and did not take a wicket.

“Attacking is my job and we've to take advantage of first six overs. Whenever I thought I can dominate the bowler, I go and do it. To step out or stand and deliver, I do it. Of course, against Sri Lanka, Malinga bowls really well against left-handers, very consistent with his in-swinging yorkers and that's why I changed my strategy right from ball one. I was attacking him as well; to keep rotating the strike he wasn't giving me that many loose deliveries,” said Dhawan.

Dhawan at 2020 T20 World Cup

Dhawan will likely be selected for India's squad for the T20 World Cup (formerly known as the World Twenty20) in Australia later this year, but won't necessarily be among the first-choice opening batsmen. He has staunch competition from the in-form KL Rahul and the experienced Rohit Sharma.

“The frame is heating up, but this is not my headache. So, I don't think about it, because that thing is not in my hands,” he added. “It is in my hands to perform and play well. I am happy and satisfied that I got two opportunities and was able to express myself. The rest it is up to the coaches and the captain, so why should I take their headache?”

India have been pooled with England, South Africa, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams for the 2020 T20 World Cup. India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. They beat Pakistan in the final to claim the maiden title.

The hard-hitting Dhawan, meanwhile, will play for the Delhi Capitals (previously called the Delhi Daredevils) in the 2020 Indian Premier League. He has previously represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

New title

Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.