The India opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have scored only 88 runs between them in four matches of the ICC World T20 2016. They have not got off to those brisk starts that they were getting ahead of this tournament, leaving India in a spot of bother throughout the World T20.
Rohit has looked good in certain instances, but Dhawan has been completely out of form. He is clearly not timing the ball as he was doing in the Asia Cup T20 2016 or during the T20 series against Australia, Down Under in January.
It is high time that MS Dhoni takes the decision to bring in Ajinkya Rahane in the place of Dhawan at the top of the order.
Rahane and Dhawan's averages in T20Is is quite similar. Rahane averages 20.25, while Dhawan averages 20.80. Their strike rate is also strangely the same. Both the batsmen has a strike rate of 113 in T20Is.
But, Rahane was one of the best batsmen in IPL 2015. He scored more than 500 runs at a brilliant average of just above 49. His strike rate was 130.75. Rahane gave the Rajasthan Royals just the kind of starts they wanted and he will look to do the same for his new IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants.
Meanwhile, Dhawan averaged just above 27 in the last season of the IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He could not score as many runs as Rahane did at the top of the order.
Dhawan's innings of 60 against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final in February was outstanding. He has failed to emulate that form in the ICC World T20 2016 so far.
Rahane is yet to feature in any of the matches in this World T20. He played the warmup games, but Dhoni and the team management have not picked him in the playing XI for the Super 10s.
Rahane's chances of featuring in the playing XI have opened up after Yuvraj Singh was ruled out of the tournament because of the ankle injury he sustained during the India vs Australia match in Mohali.
India have made a good comeback in this competition after being handed a drubbing by New Zealand in the opening match. MS Dhoni & co. have qualified for the semifinals, and they will face the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
This is the big stage, as India are favourites to make it to the big final, which will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Team India have already taken a blow in the form of Yuvraj, so the room for error is very small.
It will be interesting to see whether Dhoni opts for that seemingly-necessary change at the top of the order, because Rahane is not that impactful while batting in the middle order as he is while he opens the batting.
The stats of both the batsmen are not that different, but if so much faith has been shown on Dhawan, then why not Rahane, who is also a quality batsman.