Top 5 cricket teams with the best opening pairs in limited overs cricket history
Cricketing sides which have dominated international cricket have had different recipes for success. While some teams had the firepower in their batting, others have been blessed with quality in their bowling arsenal.
However, one element which has been common to their success has been the stability in the opening pair. In Test or in one day, a stable opening pair has given the teams the cutting edge in winning matches.
History suggests the lethal opening combination has given teams the requisite firepower up the order to set up mammoth totals or chase down daunting targets.
So let us go down in memory lane and have a look at the teams which have been blessed with dependable opening pairs in limited overs cricket.
India’s success in the limited overs format has been largely attributed to a stable opening combination all through its cricketing history. The Indians have been lucky to have dependable openers who formed the nucleus of their batting heavy line-ups.
In the 80s, the ‘Little Master’ Sunil Gavaskar held the fort at top of the order with his well-organised technique and dogged defence.
Gavaskar had good company in the form of Chetan Chauhan and Yashpal Sharma who were decent openers in their own merit.
Once Gavaskar retired from international cricket, the unorthodox Kris Srikanth and the technically sound Ravi Shastri formed a handy opening pair with contrasting batting styles.
The 90s was all about the ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar and his exploits with the bat as an attacking opener.
After being partnered by the likes of Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Jadeja, Tendulkar eventually got his most dependable partner in the ‘Prince of Calcutta’, Saurav Ganguly.
The Tendulkar-Ganguly duo became the most prolific opening pair in the history of ODI cricket. While Tendulkar was tormenting the best bowling attacks with utter disdain, Ganguly was a treat to watch with his elegant off-side play and hitting spinners for big sixes. The pair which put on whopping 6000 plus ODI runs with 21-century partnerships became the backbone of the Indian batting order.
At the turn of the millennium, India’s most destructive Virender Sehwag cemented his place at the top of the order courtesy his swashbuckling style of play.
Sehwag relied heavily on his hand-eye coordination and tonked the best of attacks to all parts of the park.
Sehwag and his Delhi mate Gautam Gambhir formed a lethal opening pair, helping the Indian team build a strong foundation and pile up mammoth totals.
After the Viru-Gauti pair bid adieu to international cricket, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma become India’s most dependable opening pair in white ball cricket.
The left-right combination has strung numerous opening stands for India in the past, laying a solid foundation for the likes of Virat Kohli and thereby winning many matches for the 'Men in Blue'.
While the ‘Hitman’ Sharma is considered to be one of the most stylish openers with all the shots in his armory, Dhawan packs a punch with his shot-making in the power plays.