Pune (Maharashtra)[India], Apr 23 (ANI): Indian batting legend VVS Laxman has batted for Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings along with Rohit Sharma in the forthcoming Champions Trophy to be held in England and Wales in June.
Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor Laxman, who is impressed with Dhawan's return to form in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), believes the left-handed opener is currently in a very good shape of mind and, therefore, not only should get a place in India's squad for the Champions Trophy, but should open the innings as well alongside Rohit as they did in 2013.
"I think it is great to see Shikhar batting the way he is. He looks in very good rhythm. Also he is in good space of mind. And I am sure the way he is batting, he will win more and more matches for the franchise. I am hoping that he will get a place in the Champions Trophy. I believe Shikhar and Rohit are the right players to open in England," Laxman said in an exclusive conversation with ANI.
The 31-year-old lost his place from the nation side due to poor form and injuries, but the opener has looked good in this IPL season and even smashed a match-winning 70 against Delhi Daredevils on Wednesday.
Dhawan was dropped midway through the ODI series against England earlier this year after making just 12 runs in two matches.
"I am very pleased with the way Shikhar is batting and I just want him to enjoy and play with a lot of freedom because he is a match winner and an impact player," he added.
It should be noted that Dhawan was adjudged the player of the Series in the last edition of the Champions Trophy, which India won in 2013. The southpaw scored 363 runs in five games, including two centuries.
The former Indian batsman further said that the defending champions have a very good chance of retaining the coveted trophy.
"I believe India has got a very good chance in the Champions Trophy. But whether its T20 or 50-over format, whichever team performs well on that day, they win the game. I believe at this moment I can chose the four semi-finalists and India will be one among them," he said.
"I believe India will go into the tournament with a lot of confidence because most of the players have been playing in the IPL and they are match fit. So, I believe India has got a very good chance to win the Champions Trophy," he added.
The tournament will begin on June 1 and end with the final on June 18.
India, ranked fourth the ICC Rankings for ODI nations, will open their Group B campaign against Pakistan on June 4 at Edgbaston, followed by matches against Sri Lanka (June 8) and South Africa (June 11) at The Oval. (ANI)