‘Karthik was batting well in practice game, but Rohit had to play’ – R Sridhar on MS Dhoni’s big move during 2013 Champions Trophy

MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Team India’s plan to play batter Suryakumar Yadav in the opening slot has worked well for the Men in Blue as the right-handed batter recently scored an excellent fifty during the third T20I encounter against West Indies and helped his side to victory. It must be noted that team India has tried several opening options in the past few months to finalize their opening combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Just like Suryakumar got promoted to the opening position from the middle order, the same thing happened with India’s current skipper Rohit Sharma, who mainly played in the middle order, but was given a chance to open the innings under the leadership of MS Dhoni during the 2013 Champions Trophy. Since then, Rohit has established himself as a prominent opener and has played many memorable knocks for the Indian side.

MS Dhoni was keen on elevating Rohit up the order: Former India fielding coach

Former India fielding coach R Sridhar has now opened that how Dhoni was keen on keeping Rohit in the playing XI and promoting him to the opening slot. In a warm-up game before the 2013 Champions Trophy, senior batter Dinesh Karthik stroked an excellent 146* against Australia which ensured that he would bat at the number four spot for India, while Rohit along with Shikhar Dhawan will open the innings for the Men in Blue.

“There was one decision made by 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 Dhoni, found a spot for Rohit at the top of the order. That was a brilliant move,” Sridhar told cricket.com.

The former fielding coach has expressed his happiness about the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav in the T20 squad and how Shreyas Iyer fits at the No.3 spot when Virat Kohli is not present in the team.

“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.

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