'In cricket you need someone at the other end to understand your strengths and weakness.'
Former India pacer Irfan Pathan reckons the reason behind Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's extremely successful opening partnership is their ability to play to each other's strengths.
The destructive Indian opening pairing of Rohit and Dhawan has ruled world cricket in limited-overs since they started batting together in 2013.
"We know Shikhar plays very freely. He gives time to Rohit Sharma. We all know how Rohit Sharma is able to change gears very quickly, but he takes time early on," Pathan said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
Pathan said both the players are aware of the each other's game and abilities and that makes a huge difference.
"In cricket you need someone at the other end to understand your strengths and weakness. Shikhar understands when Rohit Sharma needs time, for at least the few overs to get himself going," he added.
"So, he used to take the charge and I think that's what makes him successful. And as soon as the spinners came and Rohit Sharma got settled, he took all the pressure away from Shikhar Dhawan, so that's why the whole camaraderie really, really went on well for Team India for so many years," Pathan said.
Rohit and Dhawan have shared 16 century stands between them in ODIs. They are joint second with Australia's Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden in the list of most hundred-run partnerships.
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are top of the list with 21 century stands between them.