The opening positions are one of the most important slots in a batting line up, and becomes even more so in a high energy 20 over game, where the openers have to balance out between getting aggressive starts versus not losing too many wickets, as they say a good opening partnership sets the tone for the match, and here is our list of the top 5 best opening batsman that IPL has seen over the years.
5. Virender Sehwag
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The Nawab of Najafgarh is regarded as one of the most destructive opening batsman of all time, who redefined opening in all forms of cricket, especially for team India. His IPL exploits have also been highly noteworthy over the 8 seasons he has been part of, in the Delhi Daredevils and the Kings XI colors. He has played 104 IPL matches overall in his career, amassing 2728 runs in the process with an average of 27.55 and spectacular strike rate of over a 155. His blitz at the top of the order included 334 boundaries and 106 sixes, with 2 centuries and 16 half centuries and a highest score of 122 of 58 balls coming against CSK in a qualifier in 2014. His sheer ability to single handedly take a match away from the opposition earns him the number 5 spot on our list, ahead of some tough competition.
4. Shikhar Dhawan
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Shikhar Dhawan is one of the most consistent players of the IPL, more commendable for the fact that he has been opening all his career. Starting his IPL career in 2008 with Delhi, his major break came in the 4th season when he moved to Hyderabad, the then Deccan Charges, becoming one of the most lethal opening partnerships alongside David Warner, scoring bulk of their teams runs. He has played 159 games in IPL so far and has 4579 runs to his name at a strike rate of about 125 and a very impressive average of 33.42. He has 37 half centuries to his name with a highest score of 97*, his exploits at the top of the order consists of 524 fours and 96 sixes, and Gabbar will be hoping to continue his success in the Delhi Capitals uniform and do some his famous thigh fives.
3. Rohit Sharma
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Ro-Hitman Sharma comes in at third place in our rankings, although he has not been opening during the entirety of his IPL career, but his sheer brilliance and consistence at the top of the order for Mumbai in the recent years, when he has come out to open earns him this spot.
He has scored 4898 runs in 188 matches of his IPL career, at very healthy strike rate of over 130 and an Average of almost 32, and this goes up even higher when he is opening. His boundary tally comprises of 431 fours and 194 sixes, with a highest score of 109* against KKR in 2012 and 36 half centuries to his name, Sharmaji will in all likelihood become only the third batsman in IPL history to cross the 5000 run mark this season.
2. Chris Gayle
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The universe Boss occupies the number 2 position in our list of top openers. The big man from Jamaica has been an absolute treat to watch in the IPL with his colossal striking and his ability to win matches single handedly for his team.
He holds many of the batting records in the Indian Premier League like the Highest individual score in a match 175* against Pune warriors in 2013, where he also hit the most sixes by a batsman in a single innings, a whopping 17 maximums. His other records include the highest number of centuries by a batsman in IPL with Six hundreds to his name, as well as the most sixes overall in IPL at a mammoth 326 of them, and the list just keeps going. In this process, he has scored nearly four and a half thousand runs (4484) at a terrific average of 41.13 and bludgeoning Strike rate of over 150.
On top of all his records and power hitting, Gayle is a wonderful fun loving human being that makes him an absolute fan favourite, which team he might be in, and fans are expecting to see a few more years of Gayle storm along with KL Rahul at the top of the order for Kings XI, and hopefully many more records will be set by the universe boss.
1. David Warner
At Numero Uno is the pocket dynamo from Australia, David Warner. He has been one of the most successful batsman in the IPL history over his stints at Delhi and Sunrisers Hyderabad. More particularly at SRH, where he has been their batting main stay for many years now.
He also holds several records to his name, his 4706 runs in a 126 IPL matches, is the most runs scored by any foreign player in the IPL, which could have well passed the 5K mark hasn’t it been for the one year ban. He also has the most half centuries for a batsman in IPL with 44 - 50’s and also 4 centuries to his name. He also has the highest individual score by a captain scoring 126 against KKR in 2017.
He has one of the best Averages in IPL history at 43.17 and an equally impressive strike rate of 142.39 at which he has scored his runs. He has hit a massive 458 boundaries and 181 sixes till now in IPL, and has the Orange caps to his name a whopping 3 times, which is again a record. And being back at the Helm of SRH, expect his striking form to continue this season as well, as he looks to take SRH to another title glory.
Srikanth N is an MBA graduate from IIM Visakhapatnam .He is a die hard fan of Formula 1, and other motor sports.Big Lewis fan, and waiting to see him surpass Schumacher’s records.He also likes to analyse and critique F1 and F2 race weekends