The 1996 World Cup was a turning point in the history of cricket. Not only did it crush the dominance of the egoistic Aussies and Windies, but also it set about breaking apart the age old concept of opening the batting in limited overs.
Till then, the only accepted approach was to start off sedately and watchfully, building more and more power as the innings progressed. But two freakish openers had set their minds upon blowing that idea down the river in the 1996 World Cup in the sub-continent. The two Sri Lankans, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana, revolutionised ODI batting forever. The wily Adam Gilchrist and the sensational Virender Sehwag took it a notch further and made batting at the top look as easy as cutting a cake.
If Jayasuriya and Kalu are the pioneers of change in opening the innings and Sehwag and Gilchrist, the carriers of that change, modern opening batsmen have left all of these legends gaping at their feats with wide open mouths. Such is the prowess and power the modern opening batsmen possesses that even 120 in the opening 10 overs is greeted with mere applause rather than shocking gasps.
In the period since the 2015 World Cup, the world has seen some prodigious openers scale the peaks of batting records. Guys like David Warner and Alex Hales have scored four centuries post the 2015 World Cup while the South African wicketkeeper, Quinton de Kock, has gone a step further, scoring five hundreds during the period.
India's Rohit Sharma, Pakistan's Azhar Ali and New Zealand's Martin Guptill have gone about making the task tougher for opening bowlers with magnificent batsmanship.
Even Bangladesh boasts of a spectacular opener in Tamim Iqbal, who has averaged above 60 since the World Cup in Australia-New Zealand.
These brilliant openers have made the job harder for cricket analysts by religiously scoring loads of runs. Let us go through the list of openers that have scored more than 1,000 runs since the last World Cup, rating them in the process.
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#6 David Warner
The Australian opener has made his name as a specialist opener in all formats of the game. His aggressive style of batting has surprisingly been rewarding even in Test cricket.
Warner has had a period of golden form since the 2015 World Cup, notching up four hundreds en route to scoring 1,054 runs at an average of 55.47.
He has notched up hundreds in four different continents- one each in Australia, North America, Africa and Asia. He hit a brilliant 122 against India at Sydney in January 2016. His second hundred was a 109 against South Africa in the West Indies in the Tri-Series.
The ODIs in Sri Lanka were a relief for the Aussies after being humbled in the Test series. Warner hit a carefully compiled 106 in the final match of that ODI series. The ongoing ODIs against South Africa have not gone well for Australia, but Warner was unperturbed and managed his fourth hundred of the year in Durban.