Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India opener Shikhar Dhawan is optimistic that his opening partner, Rohit Sharma, will bounce back from his disappointing run of form with the bat.
His struggles have continued in the ongoing ODI series, where he has mustered 35 runs in the first two ODIs at an average of 17.50.
“I feel Rohit is playing well, looking at the way he is timing the ball,” Dhawan was quoted as saying by CricketNext. “Even in the last match he was playing really good. Unfortunately he got out but, I don’t feel concerned about his batting at all.
“He has performed so well right from the Champions Trophy, till now. Sometimes it does happen that you don’t score runs. But what matters the most is how he is timing the ball. There is no problem at all with his form. I think he just needs one good innings to solve all problems.”
India currently hold a 2-0 lead over a depleted South Africa side, who will go into the third ODI without AB de Villiers, captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.
Dhawan admitted that India’s advantageous position should be credited to spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who have combined to take 13 wickets in the first two ODIs.
Chahal has seven wickets, which included a career-best 5-22 in the second ODI in Centurion, to his name at an average of 9.57, while Kuldeep has claimed six wickets at an average of nine.
“It is difficult to play wrist-spinners because they have the ability to turn the ball on flat tracks as well,” Dhawan said. “And when the ball starts to turn, foreign player find it really difficult, because they are not used to playing such kind of turn. That can create a doubt in batsman’s mind. That is why they are really effective.
“Out of the two spinners Kuldeep and Chahal, the former is more difficult to read as he is a chinaman bowler. As far as Chahal is concerned, not many players read his googly.”
India will be looking to extend their lead in the third ODI, which will be held in Cape Town on February 7.