"Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will definitely open. When it comes to ODI, there are no doubts about that. They've been amazing over the past few years," he said in the pre-series virtual press conference.
The series will be particularly important for the 35-year-old left-handed batsman who failed to make an impact as an opener in the T20Is where he managed to get only one opportunity before being benched.
Moreover, Dhawan has plenty of back-up options breathing down his neck with Shubman Gill being one who is part of the ODI squad, along with the two Vijay Hazare Trophy stars Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal, who have however not being concisdered for the series. It will hence be a litmus test for 'Gabbar' to prove himself in the lung-opener.
The ODI format gives Dhawan the time he needs to build his innings. With loads of experience under his belt, the Delhi batsman could well return to form come Tuesday.
The combination of Rohit and Dhawan is India's third-best pair in ODIs, having scored 4878 runs in 109 innings at 44.87 with 16 centuries. As an opening pair, they have scored 4802 runs in 107 innings which is the second most for an opening combination in ODI cricket for India after the tally of 6609 runs by Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, and the fourth-best in world cricket.
All the three ODI matches will be played in Pune.