MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

MS Dhoni, former skipper promoted Rohit Sharma almost a decade ago in the 2013 Champions Trophy, which remains one of India’s greatest gambles in world cricket. At present, Rohit Sharma, the present all-format skipper of the Indian team, is regarded among the most skilled batters in contemporary cricket, having scored as many as three double centuries in the 50-over format.

In the warm-up game before the 2013 Champions Trophy, Dinesh Karthik scored an unbeaten 146 against the quality pace attack of Australia and earned the right to make the playing eleven. The seasoned wicketkeeper-batter secured the No.4 spot, while Rohit Sharma opened alongside Shikhar Dhawan as part of India’s opening gamble for the marquee competition in England.

MS Dhoni made Rohit Sharma an opener in 2013. | Photo Credit: AP
MS Dhoni made Rohit Sharma an opener in 2013. | Photo Credit: AP

MS Dhoni’s Decision To Promote Rohit Sharma As An Opener In The 2013 Champions Trophy Was A Brilliant Move: R Sridhar

Former India fielding coach R Sridhar has talked about MS Dhoni’s move that certainly paid off well for Indian cricket. He revealed how the former skipper was keen on elevating Rohit Sharma up the order.

“There was one decision made by MS Dhoni in 2013 Champions Trophy to send Rohit to open. Dinesh (Karthik) was batting so well in the practice games but Rohit had to play… so the management then, mostly captain MS Dhoni, found a spot for Rohit at the top of the order. That was a brilliant move,” R Sridhar said.

R Sridhar.(Twitter)
R Sridhar. (Twitter)

MS Dhoni showed faith in Rohit Sharma’s abilities, which eventually led to the ‘Hitman’ becoming one of the top-five run-scorers of the tournament. Rohit Sharma scored 177 runs from five matches and played with an average of 35.40.

Rohit Sharma has a host of records as an opener which includes 3 ODI double centuries, 4 T20I centuries, 5 centuries at the 2019 ODI World Cup, and over 11,000 international runs as an opener. This became a decision that has defined Indian cricket for the 9 years since it was made and made the core of India’s batting lineup so formidable.

R Sridhar Praised Suryakumar Yadav’s Inclusion In T20I Squad

R Sridhar also lauded Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in the current 20-over set-up and pointed out how Shreyas Iyer fits at the No.3 spot when Virat Kohli is absent from the eleven.

“A move that we made in T20s was Surya coming into the team a couple of years ago against England. He has shown how good he is. Shreyas (Iyer) is back at No.3, which is where he should be if Virat (Kohli) is not playing,” Sridhar added.

Suryakumar Yadav Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI
Suryakumar Yadav Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

Just three months before the 2022 World T20, India has taken a punt with Suryakumar Yadav as an opener in West Indies. The tactic seems to have worked, as the right-handed batter has notched up 24, 11, and 76 so far in the five-match T20I series against hosts Windies, which makes one wonder if there will be a fresh opening pair in Australia.

Promoted up the order to open the batting alongside skipper Rohit Sharma for the first time during this tour of the Caribbean, Suryakumar Yadav has been a shining light for India, and his 111 runs at a strike rate in excess of 168 through the first three matches of the series has helped the Asian country claim a 2-1 series lead.