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IND vs ENG 2022: “Rohit gave him time”

Former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha praised Indian captain Rohit Sharma for allowing his partner Shikhar Dhawan time to settle in during the first ODI against England on Tuesday in London.

Thanks to Jasprit Bumrah’s career-best figures of 6 for 19, the Men in Blue only needed to chase 111 for victory. Dhawan, however, looked rusty and Rohit thus decided to play the aggressor in the partnership.

The Indian captain, who himself was short of runs heading into this match at The Oval, remained unbeaten on a stroke-filled 76 off 58 balls. At the other end, Dhawan helped himself to 31 not out in 54 balls.

India raced to victory in 18.4 overs, thus taking a significant 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Speaking after the thumping win, Ojha shared his views on yet another century partnership between Rohit and Dhawan.

He told Cricbuzz:

“Rohit Sharma understood that Shikhar Dhawan was making a comeback of sorts (Dhawan only plays ODIs for India now). Dhawan needed some time and this was the perfect platform for him. There were not many runs to get and the full 50 overs to play. Rohit gave him time.

“It was almost like match practice or match simulation for Dhawan. Rohit just did the job that was expected of him.”

Terming the Dhawan-Rohit pair as highly valuable, former India left-arm seamer RP Singh added that the surface was not easy to bat on in the second innings as well.

He praised the Indian captain for taking control of the proceedings. Singh said:

“The Dhawan-Rohit pair is highly valuable. Even if we look at today’s partnership, the wicket was not easy to bat on. The ball was seaming. The bowlers were bowling in the right areas. Dhawan was not in his normal flow, so Rohit took charge of scoring and allowed Dhawan to settle in.”

The Indian openers featured in their 18th century stand in one-dayers on Tuesday. While Rohit smashed six fours and five sixes, Dhawan’s subdued knock included four boundaries.

Dravid may have told the openers to take their time: Ojha

During the discussion, Ojha also shared an interesting anecdote about India’s head coach Rahul Dravid. He revealed that the Indian legend used to watch one-day matches in England as practice for Tests to be played in the country.

Explaining how Dravid’s thought process could have impacted Rohit and Dhawan in the first ODI, Ojha said:

“Dravid, who is now the coach, may have told the same to the openers. It could be because of the advice to get some practice that the Indian openers did not look in any hurry and were taking their time.”

Having claimed a 1-0 lead, India will look to seal the three-match series when they face England at Lord’s on Thursday (July 14).

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