5 dream cross-generation opening batting combinations that we'll never get to see in ODIs
Over the years, one of the biggest revolutions that have happened is at the top of the order in ODI cricket. While circumspection was the watchword during the latter part of the 70s and throughout the 80s, a significant paradigm shift occurred in the 90s which saw teams stacking aggressive batsmen as openers. During the course of the last few years, plenty of stroke-makers have begun to queue up for fancying themselves against the new-ball on flatter pitches and shorter boundaries.
In no particular order, here are five dream cross-generation opening batting combinations that we will never have the fortune of witnessing in ODIs. Statistics of all active players are accurate as of 24th October 2017. Only batsmen, who have scored at least 1000 runs as openers, are considered for this innovative feature.
#5 Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma
Not the one to care about numbers or reputations, Virender Sehwag's presence at the top of the order was enough to intimidate most bowlers. The sight of Sehwag dispatching the first ball of the innings to the boundary ropes was quite common when he was at the peak of his powers. The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' combined together with Sachin Tendulkar to form a reliable opening combination for India. While he often provided those electrifying starts, the legendary Mumbaikar had the capacity to utilise the platform and control the flow of the innings.
In sharp contrast to Sehwag's no-holds barred approach right from the outset, Rohit Sharma may take a considerable amount of time before showing his full repertoire of shots. The elegant right-hander believes in weathering the new-ball storm and getting himself acquainted with the pace of the surface during the early stages of the innings. However, once he gets himself in, Rohit has the ability to demoralise bowling attacks by amassing huge scores at a rapid pace. It is pertinent to note that he played 39 ODIs alongside Sehwag. However, they never opened together on even one of those occasions.
Statistics as openers
Virender Sehwag - 7518 runs from 214 ODIs at an average of 36.49 and strike-rate of 104.72 with 14 centuries and 35 fifties
Rohit Sharma - 4086 runs from 85 ODIs at an average of 53.76 and strike-rate of 90.05 with 12 centuries and 22 fifties