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Indian batting legend VVS Laxman said Shikhar Dhawan should open the Indian innings along with Rohit Sharma in the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England.
The Indian selectors are yet to finalise the squad for the tournament, of which India are the defending champs, but Laxman, speaking exclusively to India Today, said Dhawan should be on the flight to London next month.

Playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhawan made a 50-ball 70 against Delhi Daredevils a couple of days ago. Laxman, being a mentor of the team, says the southpaw seems ready for the India duty again.

"Shikhar has been batting really well from the first match. Unfortunately, he has not been able to convert that into a big score but in last match he did really well and got a very good half century against Delhi. He's batting well, he's timing well, has made some technical changes in his batting and also looks in a great space as far as his mind is concerned," said Laxman.

The 31-year-old from Delhi was dropped midway through the ODI series against England earlier this year after making just 12 runs in two matches. However, with KL Rahul set to miss the tournament due to an injury, Laxman asserts that Dhawan would be an ideal replacement.

"I feel that Shikhar should open along with Rohit Sharma. If you remember, he had a big role to play in the last Champions Trophy win as well. This combination of Dhawan and Rahul is always lethal and puts the bowlers under tremendous pressure. So, I believe selectors will be watching him closely and I feel that, the kind of rhythm he is in, he's giving a lot of confidence to a lot of people. We, as a franchise, are also very pleased with the way Shikhar has been contributing to the Sunrisers' success so far."

Dhawan was adjudged the player of the Series in the last edition of the Champions Trophy, scoring 363 runs from five games, including two centuries.

Not just Dhawan, 'Very Very Special' Laxman is also quite impressed with the work ethics shown by Yuvraj Singh, another Hyderabad IPL team player.

"Yeah, Yuvraj's return at the international level has been a brilliant one. If you see, he performed really well in the domestic cricket, got a double hundred and earned his recall. Then came that phenomenal knock against England in Cuttack where he got a 150. The good thing about him is that he is not only thinking about doing well for Hyderabad in the IPL but also looking ahead.

"I am very impressed with his work ethics, the amount of time he is spending on his fitness, working on his fielding and also focusing on his bowling. He is already thinking about the Champions Trophy because there is not much time between the end of the IPL and Champions Trophy. It is great to see that the Indian players, who are looking forward to playing in the Champions Trophy or who will be in the scheme of things, are already planning and preparing for the big tournament," he said.


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