Form is temporary, class is permanent. It’s one of the oldest adages in sport and it has emphatically rung true once more in the case of India’s T20I opening partnership, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

Back together at the top of the order in Abu Dhabi after a reshuffle saw Rohit moved to three against New Zealand, Rohit and Rahul were looking to make their first impressions of the tournament having both fallen cheaply in damaging defeats against Pakistan and the Black Caps.

To say they did so would be an understatement. Their stand, worth 140 in 14.4 overs, was nigh-on perfectly paced – attacking in the powerplay, initially patient against the opposition’s main threat before putting their feet firmly back on the accelerator – and saw both visibly grow in confidence as it progressed.

Their strokeplay mixed power with precision in devastating style. Rahul was first to clear the ropes, swiping 83 metres over mid-on, while Rohit quickly followed with a glorious drive over long-off as the pair motored along at 10 an over inside the first five.

They then became content to rotate the strike up until the halfway stage, with Rashid Khan’s first two overs safely negotiated before his return saw Rohit’s eyes light up.

Consecutive sixes…

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