Australian pace great Brett Lee has predicted that stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan will be the key to India's prospects when they begin their title defence at the Asia Cup, starting September 15 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"I believe Rohit Sharma will get the best out of himself and also the team because he has been given that extra bit of responsibility to lead the Indian side for the Asia Cup. We know that the great Virat Kohli is being rested for the tournament, so that allows Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit to be pushed up," Lee was quoted as saying by Star Sports, the broadcasters of the six-nation tournament.
Lee also dismissed talks about Rohit being affected by left-arm pacers, as India prepare to face arch-rivals Pakistan in the marquee clash on September 19.
"There is a lot of talk about how Rohit can't face left arm fast bowlers -- with the swing and the ball going across him but I don't necessarily agree with that but what I can say is that in the UAE it will be a different style he will have to face," Lee said.
"Yes, they will bring on the left arm fast bowlers to target him but I believe on the lower and slower wickets in UAE, Rohit will dominate.
"We saw it a couple of times during the IPL that he got out trying to play the pull shot against the short ball. Yes, there will be nothing compared to the tracks in the UAE, it won't be like what we have seen in England and it won't be like what we have seen on the green, grassy wickets in India so I believe the lower and slower wicket will help him out," he added.
Lee, however, felt Dhawan, despite being a part of the Test squad in the ongoing England tour, will need to make a few changes to his technique to succeed in the UAE pitches.
"Dhawan has come to form during his bout in England but will have to adjust a few things in his techniques to ensure he will be playing on the surfaces that will be conducive to him," he said.
"He has played on grounds all around India that are low and slow in recent years, and I think the tracks in UAE will suit him, allowing him to play through the line of the ball. I believe he will have a great Asia Cup," he added.