A game of cricket often requires more than just an individual to guide a team to victory. Even if a batsman is firing on all cylinders, he still needs a partner at the other end to occupy the crease, at the very least.
That’s what makes partnerships in cricket absolutely crucial to the performance of any team. A good stand between two batsmen can win matches, whereas, an absence of it frequently leads to disappointment for the entire team.
India has always had an upper hand in batting and that remains the case in the shortest format of the game as well. The Men in Blue have had some prolific batting partnerships in T20Is andwith the next T20 World Cup not too far away, we list down their most lethal T20I batting partnerships since the last edition in 2016.
Shikhar Dhawan – Rohit Sharma
The left and right-hand combination carried their stellar form from ODIs to T20Is seamlessly and wreaked havoc on opposition bowling line-ups. Together Dhawan and Sharma have shown that they can decimate any opposition with disdain right from the word go.
The best part about this pair is their individual preference for balls. Short balls are pulled for sixes by Sharma, while full deliveries are subjected to elegant drives by Dhawan, making it difficult for opposition bowlers to get the better of this pair.
Opening the innings sets the tone for the match and this explosive duo has certainly mastered the art of laying a strong foundation. The two of them have four hundred-plus stands – the most by any pair in the world. In the 32 innings together since the previous T20 World Cup, the duo has piled upa record 1179 runs with 160 being their highest stand.
KL Rahul – Rohit Sharma
One man’s loss is another man’s gain and that’s exactly how it worked for Dhawan and KL Rahul. The former’s absence due to injuries gave Rahul the golden opportunity to open with Rohit Sharma.
Instead of being a temporary replacement for Dhawan, Rahul capitalized on that opportunity and has cemented his spot in white-ball cricket with a string of noteworthy performances.
When batting with Sharma, Rahul takes the more relaxed approach while the Hitman does the big-hitting. They stitched together the highest partnership for India in T20Is with a 165-run stand against Sri Lanka. A belligerent 118 by Sharma from just 43 balls coupled with Rahul’s 89 laid the foundation for the grand total of 260 runs, which is India’s highest score ever in T20Is.
In 2017, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul tore apart the Sri Lankan bowling attack with a mammoth 165-run opening wicket partnership. 🤝
— Hotstar Canada (@hotstarcanada) February 15, 2018
In just 18 innings, which is far less than Dhawan and Sharma’s 32 together, the two have notched 1019 runs at a staggering average of close to 60. In the recent past, India’s result in T20Is is largely influenced by the performance of this pair on top.
Virat Kohli – KL Rahul
The loss of an opener usually makes way for skipper Virat Kohli who usually bats at no. 3. Rahul, who has a more relaxed body language while opening, shifts gears when Kohli comes to the crease. The two have often steadied the innings after the loss of wickets.
Kohli, arguably the best batsman in the world currently, paired with an in-form Rahul can be a nightmare for any group of bowlers. The Indian captain has scored more runs with Rahul than any other batsman from the Indian line-up. The two understand each other and keep switching the roles of aggressor and second fiddle according to the situation to keep the opposition constantly guessing.
The Karnataka-Delhi combo has three fifty-plus scores with an average close to 44 in T20 internationals. The two have batted together in fifteen innings and scored 615 runs since the last T20 World Cup.
By Sportz Interactive