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India vs Australia: 'Anything for my country for sure,' Shikhar Dhawan ready to sacrifice opener's slot

India vs Australia:
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Shikhar Dhawan has said that he is ready to sacrifice his opener’s slot and bat at No. 4 if that is the current requirement of the Indian team.

Shikhar Dhawan has said that he is ready to sacrifice his opener's slot and bat at No. 4 if that is the current requirement of the Indian team.

Australia thrashed the Indian team by 10 wickets in the first One-Day International (ODI) on Tuesday. The loss led to several questions about India's strategy including playing three openers and the demotion of Virat Kohli to No. 4 in the batting order.

Over the years, Kohli has established himself as one of the best No. 3 batsmen across formats. While he averages 55.21 at No. 4, he has an excellent record at his usual spot of one-down where he averages 63.39. Just to accommodate all the three openers – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Dhawan – the Indian skipper decided to drop himself to No. 4.

Considering how over-dependent India have been on Rohit and Kohli, they fell apart when the duo got out soon. However, Dhawan did justify his selection as he top-scored with 74 runs from 91 balls. But, just when India needed him to bat till the end, he got out and from there, the hosts suffered a collapse.

During a post-match interview, Dhawan insisted that if the team asks him to bat at No. 4, he will be OK about it.

"If they (team management) ask me to bat at No.3, of course, I'll do it. Anything for my country, for sure. You have to be mentally strong, all the boys are mentally strong, that's why they've been playing international cricket and its part of the journey, sometimes you've to switch numbers as well," Dhawan, who has always opened for India in the ODIs since his debut in 2010, further explained.

The loss in the Mumbai ODI on Sunday was India's fourth consecutive defeat against Australia at home in the 50-over format. With a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Aaron Finch and Co will look to seal the series in the second game, which will be played on Friday in Rajkot.

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