Tauranga: Playing in the top three for India with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli was so comfortable that it 'felt like home', Shikhar Dhawan has said.India's win in the first one-day international in Napier was set-up by the 91-run stand for the second wicket between Dhawan and Kohli. It was the duo's 14th fifty-run partnership.
Sharma fell early for 11 in the chase of a modest 156 runs, but he too been an important part of India's strong top order, putting together 4141 runs with Dhawan from 94 innings and 4117 with Kohli in 68 innings.
Dhawan, who completed 5000 ODI runs in Napier, said that having played with Kohli for
a long time " they played domestic cricket together for state team Delhi as well " helped
them communicate effectively and was key to their good understanding.
"We guys have been playing for a long time, so it's a normal thing for us," he said. "The
good thing is that we rotate the strike very well. That is one thing that keeps the pressure
off. And of course, if someone is hitting boundaries from one end, it becomes easy for
the batsman at the other."
"We in the top three have played 115 matches together (they have all three featured in
an ODI 90 times together), so it feels like home," Dhawan said.
The Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui, the venue for the second game, has produced some
high-scoring affairs in the recent past, including two 300-plus scores by New Zealand against
Sri Lanka. Should there be another 300-plus chase, Dhawan feels it's his responsibility to
score quick runs in the first 10 overs. However, if the team loses wickets early, then he's also
ready to tone down his aggressive approach, an ICC report on Friday said.
"If the target is around 300-350, you cannot play slowly at the start," Dhawan said. "In the
first 10 overs we need to give the team a quick start. It's our job to create the momentum
for the team that could then benefit the rest of the batsmen. So it depends from game to
game and score to score."
The New Zealand bowlers too understand how crucial the first 10 overs are to build
pressure on the Indian top three."We want to be aggressive as we can and put pressure on them on the first few balls they face," Trent Boult said. "They're quality batsmen and when they're in they're hard to get out.
The plan is to put pressure on them early in conditions they're not used to.""If we can get a couple of wickets in the first 10 overs it'll help, because we know what kind of pressure it can put on the rest of the team in the shed," Boult said.
But knowing the history of the ground, Boult cautioned against giving away too many
in an attempt to go for wickets. "We want to be aggressive but limit the runs because big scores can be scored on this ground," he added.(UNI)