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Whenever a cricket team steps onto the field to bat, its primary objective is to score as many runs as possible. They expect to bat through till the end of their innings and put on a formidable total. When chasing, the team hopes to score the targeted runs as quickly as possible. All these are made possible by the openers of the respective teams. It is the openers, who lay the foundation for the team’s total score. They are the ones who launch their team’s innings. They have to be the ones to bear the brunt of the cricket ball, delivered at breakneck speed by the opposition’s fast bowlers; and they also have to deal with the swing offered by the new ball. So here we have our ranking of the top 10 best openers in Cricket in the world.
Top 10 Best Openers in the World
|Quinton de Kock
At number 10 in the list of best openers in Cricket, we have the former captain of the English Cricket team, Alastair Cook. The left-hander made his debut against India back in 2006. He was a last-minute replacement for Marcus Trescothick. He went on to score a century in the test match. Cook is the leading Test run-scorer for England, and the youngest player to score 12,000 Test runs. Cook has scored a record 33 Test centuries for England and is the first England player to win 50 Test matches.
Quinton de Kock
De Kock is one of those rare talents, who occasionally comes and makes an impact so great that it solidifies his place in the record book. This left-handed wicket keeper batsman from South Africa has managed to accomplish such great feats at such an early age, which makes it easy to see why he is heralded as a future great. De Kock made his international debut in the first match of South Africa’s home T20 series against New Zealand during the 2012/13 season. However, he made it to the headlines and caught peoples’ attention when he scored three back-to-back centuries against India in an ODI series.
At number eight we have Shane Watson. The Australian is often hailed as one of the finest all-rounders of modern-day cricket. He was equipped with all that was required to be the ideal package. He had destructive power, could hit the ball with ease, could play pace and spin with relative ease, and better yet, he could also bowl medium-pace. Watson made his international debut in 2002 during the tour of South Africa in the ODI series. He started his career batting down in the middle order. It was only after he was elevated to the opening slot amid an Ashes series that he found his calling.
Next, we have the left-handed Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan. A naturally attacking batsman, Dhawan has always been a top-order mainstay, in any batting lineup. He is highly rated because of his ability to stand his ground and make a big score. A natural on the off-side, some of his stroke plays are a sight to behold. Dhawan was the player of the tournament in the ICC Champions Trophy in June 2013. He scored 363 runs in just five games, including two hundred.
At number six, we have Gordon Greenidge, who is regarded as one of the best openers in cricket history. The former West Indian opener was well known for his controlled stroke-play and his ability to navigate the innings. Throughout his career, he scored a total of 12,692 runs. A destructive opener, Greenidge made his debut for West Indies against India at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore in 1974. What’s worth noting here is that this was the debut match for another West Indian legend: Sir Vivian Richards.
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Next up we have the Sri Lankan southpaw, Tillakaratne Dilshan. This brilliant opener was one such player who always looked to hit the ball towards or over the boundary ropes, defending only when necessary. Dubbed as one of the best inventive and counter-attacking batsmen, he made a total of 17,671 runs throughout his career. Not to forget his ability to bowl off-spin, using which he often chips in. His DILSCOOP, however, remains one of the best innovative shots in the history of the game.
At number four, we have the dynamic and explosive Australian opener, David Warner. The left-hander made his debut for Australia in a T20 International series against South Africa, where he played a stunning inning of 89 off 43 balls. Throughout his career, he has had to face several ups and downs. But because of his fighting attitude, he always came back strong. However, his association with the infamous Sandpaper scandal during Australia’s tour of South Africa tarnished his image. It led to him being banned for a year. However, he made a strong comeback. Surely Warner is one of the best openers in the world.
At number three we have the right-handed Proteas opener, Hashim Amla in our list of best openers in Cricket. Although not known for his aggressive play, his strike rate across the formats shows that he could pick up the pace of the game as and when he pleased. He, along with Quinton de Kock, made a formidable opening pair that bullied most of the bowlers. He has made over 18672 runs throughout his career.
Rohit Sharma: World best opener
The swashbuckling Indian opener is placed at number two. Ever since he started opening the innings for the team in 2013, it’s almost as if he is on another level altogether. Not only has he cemented his place in the team, but he has also established himself as one of the best openers in cricket. Furthermore, he has broken numerous records along the way. He, along with Shikhar Dhawan, have formed an opening pair that has tormented bowlers left and right. Rohit is known to take his time to dig into his innings, but once he starts firing, there is no stopping him. The “Hitman” also holds the record of being the only player to have scored three double centuries in ODI cricket, with his high score being 264. Hitman is undoubtedly one of the world best opener of current times.
And topping the list of world best opener in cricket, we have master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar. Known as the player who could play all the strokes, Tendulkar played both defensively and offensively with ease. Being the first player to have scored a double century in an ODI against South Africa, Tendulkar perhaps holds nearly every record in the book. But his greatest feat is scoring hundred international centuries, which is a truly remarkable accomplishment.
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Openers play a crucial role in setting the tone for the innings and providing a solid foundation for the team. They face the new ball when the bowlers are fresh, and their performance often sets the momentum for the rest of the batting lineup. A strong opening partnership can put the team in a commanding position and put pressure on the opposition.
A good opener in cricket possesses a combination of skills and attributes. They need to have strong batting technique, the ability to face the new ball, and make solid starts for their team. Additionally, openers should have good judgment in shot selection, a strong mental approach, and the ability to adapt to different pitch and match conditions.
Openers play a vital role in team success by providing a solid start and laying the foundation for big totals or successful chases. They not only score runs but also tire out the bowlers, occupy the crease, and create partnerships that allow the middle order to capitalize on the platform set.
The role of openers can vary slightly in different formats of cricket. In Test cricket, openers often have to face the new ball for longer periods, focusing on solid defense and building a foundation. In limited-overs formats like ODIs and T20, openers are expected to score quickly and provide a fast start to set the tone for the innings.
The role of openers has evolved significantly in cricket. In the past, their primary focus was often on occupying the crease and providing a solid start. However, with the advent of aggressive batting and limited-overs cricket, openers are now expected to score quickly, hit boundaries, and set a high tempo right from the beginning of the innings.