Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Two stalwarts of the modern game playing together for the same team for the last few years has meant that India continue to dominate the ODI format for a while now. While beating West Indies 3-1 in the just-concluded ODI series, the Rohit-Kohli partnership rose to the occasion once again as they combined to post 375 runs in partnerships across 3 innings including the whopping match-winning 246-run cooperation in the first ODI. Since the time they first came together in 2010, the alliance has now emerged as one of the best in the history of one-dayers and looks set to surpass Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly's 8000+ runs record in the coming years.
The current duo has now posted 4060 runs in just 66 innings when they have been together at the crease at an average of 66.55 which is easily the highest in ODI history. Even though Tendulkar-Ganguly partnership sits at the top with 8227 runs, they accumulated these numbers across 176 innings. A distant second on this list are two Sri Lankans - Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara - with 5992 runs. In terms of averages, TM Dilshan and Sangakkara's 5475 runs at the rate of 53.67 runs per innings comes a distant second to Rohit-Virat partnership.
Numbers don't lie. If India's current ODI captain and vice-captain manage to continue at this rate they need only 62 more innings to overhaul Sachin-Sourav's record. Given that longevity is an often rare and cherished attribute in the modern game, it will be interesting to see if the swashbuckling duo is able to maintain their focus and fitness levels in the near future too.
|SC Ganguly, SR Tendulkar (INDIA)||1992-2007||176||8227||258||47.55||26||29|
|DPMD Jayawardene, KC Sangakkara (Asia/SL)||2000-2015||151||5992||179||41.61||15||32|
|TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara (SL)||2000-2015||108||5475||210*||53.67||20||19|
|MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1996-2007||144||5462||237||39.29||14||26|
|AC Gilchrist, ML Hayden (AUS)||2000-2008||117||5409||172||47.44||16||29|
|CG Greenidge, DL Haynes (WI)||1979-1991||103||5206||192*||52.58||15||25|
|V Sehwag, SR Tendulkar (INDIA)||2001-2012||114||4387||182||39.16||13||18|
|R Dravid, SC Ganguly (Asia/INDIA)||1996-2007||88||4363||318||50.14||11||18|
|R Dravid, SR Tendulkar (INDIA)||1996-2009||98||4117||331||44.26||11||14|
|Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf (PAK)||1998-2007||99||4082||162||44.36||8||22|
|V Kohli, RG Sharma (INDIA)||2010-2018||66||4060||246||66.55||15||10|
|S Dhawan, RG Sharma (INDIA)||2011-2018||90||4037||210||45.35||13||13|
There remains little doubt that Rohit-Virat need to be consistent for many more years to come to be recognised as the greatest ODI pair ever seen, but Indian fans would cherish every moment the duo is on the crease together. Curiously India's opening partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Sharma lies just behind Rohit-Virat in the pecking order with 4037 runs in 90 innings. This provides further evidence for India's over-reliance on it's top-three. It also proves that India have the best top-3 in ODIs in the world at the moment.
The best thing about the two players is how ably they have supported each other while swallowing their egos for the good of the team. As we turn our focus towards the T20I series against West Indies starting on November 4, ODIs will be out of fashion till India plays Australia Down Under early next year. But if Rohit and Virat have their way, there is no doubt that they will light up the likes of SCG and MCG leading into the World Cup in England in June 2019.