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Former Australia pace bowler Brett Lee believes that Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will play an instrument role with the bat for India in the upcoming Asia Cup.
With Virat Kohli having been rested, Rohit has been appointed captain, while Dhawan was named vice-captain.
Given that India won’t have the services of their most consistent performer for the tournament, Lee admitted that it is up to Rohit and Dhawan to lead by example.
“Two key batsmen for India in the Asia Cup – Shikhar Dhawan and secondly Rohit Sharma,” Lee told Star Sports as quoted by the International Cricket Council’s website. “I believe Rohit will get the best out of himself and also the team because he has been given that extra bit of responsibility to lead the Indian side. With Virat Kohli not playing, Rohit and Dhawan will be the two key men with the bat for India.
Rohit has scored 224 runs at an average of 32 in the 10 innings he has played in the Asia Cup, while Dhawan only featured in the 2014 edition of the competition, where he amassed 192 runs at an average of 48.
But, why exactly is Lee backing Rohit and Dhawan to shine? It simply comes down to the fact that he feels the conditions in the United Arab Emirates will play to the Indian batsmen’s strengths.
“The great Virat Kohli is being rested for the tournament, so that allows Shikhar and Rohit to be pushed up,” Lee, who took 718 wickets in his illustrious 13-year international career, said. “There is a lot of talk about how Rohit can’t face left-arm fast bowlers – with the swing and the ball going across him. But I don’t necessarily agree with that. What I can say is that in the UAE it will be a different style he will have to face.
“Yes, they will bring on the left-arm fast bowlers to target Rohit but I believe on the lower and slower wickets in UAE, Rohit will dominate. I believe the wicket will help him out.
“Dhawan has come in form during his bout in England but will have to adjust a few things in his techniques to ensure he will be playing on the surfaces that will be conducive to him. He has played on grounds all around India that are low and slow in recent years, and the tracks in UAE will suit him, allowing him to play through the line of the ball.”