Indian batting order for ODIs in the future
For many years, batting has been India's strength. In the first decade of the 2000s, Indian batting comprised of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar as openers with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid taking care of the middle order. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were excellent finishers.
Indian Test batting line-up of Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly and VVS Laxman was popularly known as the FAB 5. Add MS Dhoni to that, and India had one of the best batting lineups.
Post-retirement of Ganguly and Dravid, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli took over their responsibility in the 2011 World Cup. Their exploits in the final helped India loft the trophy.
Post World Cup 2011, Virat Kohli emerged as one of the best players in ODIs and took the mantle of the Indian batting in his hands. Since 2013, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have been one of the best opening pairs in the world.
The ODI World Cup 2019 is near and the team looks almost settled with a few minor changes which might happen. It might be the last World Cup for MS Dhoni and maybe for others as well. Dhoni is still one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman, but he will soon retire.
New youngsters are coming in the team. Shreyas Iyer made debut for India in December last year but still hasn't been able to get his place confirmed in the side. Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant made their debut in Tests for India in the England series.
Vihari scored a fifty on debut and Pant also got hundred in the last innings of the 5th Test. Another exciting talent, Prithvi Shaw made his Test debut for India against the West Indies and scored a brilliant hundred in debut. Many more talented youngsters are doing well in the domestic level and will soon make their way to the Indian team.
The current batting order of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as openers and Virat Kohli, Ambati Raydu and MS Dhoni in the middle order is one of the best batting order in the world. In the coming years, this lineup is bound to change as these players will retire.
Let us look the players who will form the Indian batting order in ODIs in the coming years.
The opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been doing a phenomenal job at the top. Dhawan and Rohit have scored 3992 runs together in 88 matches and 13 times they have shared a century partnership. They are currently ranked fourth in terms of runs by an opening pair.
To carry the legacy of this pair will not be easy as both Rohit and Shikhar have been sensational with the bat.
KL Rahul is an excellent stroke player and loves to dominate the attacks. He had a brilliant IPL 2018 where he scored more than 500 runs and was one of the highest run-getters. He already has 2 hundred in T20 Internationals.
In ODIs, he hasn't got many opportunities and has played just 13 games. Out of those 13 games, he has opened the batting 7 times and has scored 280 runs at an impressive average of 56.
He has scored a hundred and 2 fifties while opening for India. Currently, he is in the squad as a backup opener. After Shikhar and Rohit lose their form or decide to hang up their boots, he is likely to open for India. He is a player who can play all the three formats for India.
Prithvi Shaw is being regarded as the next big thing in Indian cricketing circles. He already has debuted for India in Tests and has scored a brilliant hundred on debut. He loves playing his shots and even in Tests, he plays like he is playing in ODIs.
In first-class, he averages more than 61 and has scored 8 hundred and 6 fifties. His game is quite similar to Sehwag as he also used to dominate the opposition.
Shaw and Rahul will be a very destructive combination at the top.
The current Indian middle order of Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni is doing a fair job. To find replacements of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will be really difficult for India. The duo has been exceptional for India in the limited over formats.
Virat, who averages close to 60 in ODIs, is currently the best ODI batsman. Dhoni also has scored close to 10000 runs and has represented India in more than 300 ODIs. He has not only been brilliant with the bat, but also has been exceptional behind the stumps.
This youngster captured the eyes of everyone in the under 19 World Cup held in New Zeland earlier this year. He was the second highest run-scorer of the tournament. Some of his shots carry a resemblance with Virat Kohli.
He is very calm and composed player who looks to build the innings just like Virat. In the domestic circuit, he has been performing really well. He averages more than 58 in the first-class matches and has scored 4 hundred and 5 fifties in List-A. He can bat either at number 3 or number 4 in the future and be the backbone of the Indian side.
Shreyas Iyer made his debut for India in December 2017 but has played just 6 ODIs and 6 T20 Internationals for India. He has scored 2 fifties in ODIs. In IPL 2016, he was awarded the Emerging Player award.
He averages more than 51 in first-class and has scored 11 hundred and 21 fifties. In List-A matches, he has scored 5 hundred and 12 fifties. He is an excellent middle order player who can both anchor the innings and also play aggressive shots when needed.
He is an ideal player for the number 4 spot. Also, since he is leading his teams in the IPL and the domestics circuits, he might just turn out to be the ideal captaincy candidate in the future.
Rishabh Pant is being considered as the successor for MS Dhoni. He has already made his debut for India in all the three formats. In Tests, he is currently the first choice wicket-keeper. In his last three innings, he has scored a hundred and also two scores of 92. He hasn't been able to play any big innings in the ODIs and T20 Internationals.
In IPL 2018, he was one of the highest run scorers. His natural game is to attack and loves playing aggressive strokes. He can be an excellent finisher for India in the shorter formats. He can be the ideal number 5 for India in future.