Top 5 averages among current openers in ODIs
A new ball at each end, propulsion by global Twenty20 cricket all over the year and an urgent brand of cricket promoted by cricket boards in the cohesion of financial gains with broadcasters and sponsors, one-day cricket is becoming high scoring. So much so that yesterday, Australia were 180 runs behind the DLS par score. In the 33rd over. The sport is changing at a rate faster than we think.
With high scoring cricket, we're seeing more and more bloated statistics each day, England have now averaged innings total of 412.5 over their last two ODIs. While it seems destructive, we must not condemn the shift of this paradigm. High scoring encounters are the best advertisements for roping in spectators to the stadium. And though a 200 run each side match-up, ending in a 10 run win or a 2 wicket triumph might keep the TV viewers engage, it is the spectacle that is needed to save the game.
In that light, we look at the five most prolific current openers (min. 20 inns), as they are the most instrumental players in their side, setting the tone for the innings, often getting off to flyers and on occasions batting throughout the innings.
#5 Shikhar Dhawan, 45.90
Getting off to a forgettable start on his ODI debut by playing all around a Clint McKay delivery to be dismissed for a two-ball duck, Dhawan could not cement his place in the side straight away. But after a memorable Test debut against Australia in the 2013 Border Gavaskar series, he was recalled to the ODI side to open alongside Rohit Sharma in the Champions Trophy.
Scoring a mesmerizing 94 ball 114 against South Africa at Cardiff in the tournament opener, Dhawan did not look back and has since been India's reliable gun at the top of the order. Unlike his former Delhi compatriot Virender Sehwag, Dhawan relies on footwork manoeuvres and looks to unsettle the fast bowlers early in the innings by disturbing their lengths, is equally effective against spin, has a powerful sweep shot that helps him target the wide sector between the long leg and mid-wicket boundaries.
Dhawan elevates his game to match the bigger occasions, he has 968 runs from three ICC tournaments with four centuries, averaging 69.18.
Stats as an opener:
Innings: 101, Runs: 4361, 100s: 13, SR: 93.44