The Indian team management may still be in the process of finding a solution to the muddle in the middle order batting though Ambati Rayudu has got his captain’s backing for the No 4 slot. Much now depends on MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant. The former has to find his old touch while the latter given the opportunity against the West Indies has to make the most of it.

But while there may still be doubts about the middle order there can be nothing but praise for the top order. Watching the Rohit Sharma – Virat Kohli show at Guwahati on Sunday made for very high entertainment value and whatever can be said about the weakness about the bowling they encountered they are high quality batsmen who can make mincemeat of even a much better bowling lineup as they have done so often in the past. And with Shikhar Dhawan among the runs the trio constitutes easily the best top order in the business.

Dhawan has this ability to decimate the bowling thanks to his naturally attacking skills and he has been among the runs of late. In his last 20 innings spread over a year he has got four hundreds and four half centuries and has struck up a great combination with Rohit as his opening partner.

But for all of Dhawan’s attacking batsmanship it must be said that Rohit and Virat hold the key to India’s fortunes at the World Cup. If any proof was needed Sunday provided it. The manner in which they went for their strokes freely playing both text book shots and innovative ones they could be the best pair of batsman in ODIs. They certainly have the stats to back them up. The duo have shared five double century partnerships an ODI record. No other pair has more than three such stands. Kohli has already set many records and is on his way to surpassing many more but Rohit is not far behind when it comes to records. He has got six 150 plus scores more than any other player. On Sunday he went past Sachin Tendulkar and David Warner who have five such scores. He is the only player with three double hundreds in ODIs. There are only five other such scores and none has crossed this mark more than once.

Indian cricket is truly fortunate to have two such gifted batsmen playing at the same time and quite often in tandem. Their careers have run parallel with Rohit making his international debut in 2007 and Virat a year later. The 31-year-old Rohit was the first to catch the eye and after the victorious 2007-08 CB Series campaign in Australia Ian Chappell predicted a ''huge future’’ for him. He was a hit in ODIs but he also seemed good for Test cricket for he had the text book strokes besides the innovative ones required for the limited overs game. Moreover he was the latest graduate from the Bombay school of batting and had the kind of first class figures that marked him out as a Test batsman – a career average of over 60, a triple hundred and a century in each innings in a Ranji Trophy final. By 2011 Chappell was saying that ''it is hard to fathom that three years later he still hasn’t played a Test and his talent is in danger of being under utilized.’’

When he finally got a chance in 2013 following the retirement of several stalwarts Rohit was an instant success hitting hundreds in his first two Tests. But somewhere along the line he faltered and remained an unfulfilled talent. By this time Kohli who turns 30 in a couple of weeks’ time became the cynosure. Perhaps a bit more focused than Rohit and hungrier for success he made giant strides in both Tests and ODIs while Rohit was regarded more of a limited overs player than a Test cricketer. And in the last few years while Kohli has made giant strides in all forms of the game, has emerged as the biggest name in Indian cricket and is acknowledged to be the world’s best batsman Rohit has been a fringe player in Tests even as he continues to be a regular in ODIs.

Actually the dominance of the trio is not a new phenomenon but dates back to the 2015 World Cup. In 69 ODIs between the semifinal loss to Australia and the Guwahati annihilation Dhawan (7), Rohit (13) and Virat (14) have accounted for 34 hundreds. During this phase Rohit and Kohli have shared eight century stands while the Dhawan – Kohli and Rohit – Dhawan partnerships have stitched together six century partnerships. These are all eye-rubbing and mind boggling figures.

One of the reasons why there is still confusion about the middle order is because it has been under utilized thanks to the superb showing of the first three batsmen. Admittedly this may not be an ideal situation to be in but as long as Dhawan, Rohit and Virat are getting the runs and the centuries Indian batting has nothing to worry about.