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10 middle-order batsmen who became great openers

Sanath Jayasuriya revolutionized the role of an opener in the mid-90s.
Aadya Sharma
Modified 09 Sep 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

The job of an opening batsman is no mean task, they are sent to face the new ball at a time when the bowlers are both physically and mentally fresh. With high levels of concentration and the ability to make runs in challenging conditions being pre-requisites, opening is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, there have been a few batsmen, who started their international journey in the middle-order, but found their calling as openers, ending their careers with remarkable statistics under their name.

Here’s a list of 10 middle-order batsman who became successful openers:

Sanath Jayasuriya

The swashbuckling opener from Sri Lanka, who revolutionised pinch-hitting in the mid-90s, actually started off as a middle and lower order batsman. At a time when hitting over the infield in the initial overs was not the norm, the left-hander was held back in the order to provide fireworks in the latter part of the innings. Coming in at No. 5 in his debut ODI against Australia in 1989, he could manage just three runs off five balls.

The change came in 1993-94, when he was briefly promoted up the order against the new ball. He used to be shunted up and down the line-up before then, even batting as low as No.7. In an ODI against Pakistan in 1994, he opened the batting with Arjuna Ranatunga and scored 77. After that, there was no looking back, as he made the opening position his own. He ended with 21,032 international runs to his name.

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Published 06 Jul 2016, 10:07 IST
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