3 Most Successful Opening Batting Partnerships In ODI Cricket: Cricket is a game that has moved at quite a fast pace. It can be understood from the very basic fact of how openers bat in the first few initial overs of the innings. While earlier, the openers batted with a mindset of seeing off the new ball in order to protect the batters to follow, these days, it is the openers who take maximum advantage of the first powerplay and play shots without any fear.
There’s has been a gradual shift in how batters go about business, especially in ODI cricket. However, not many openers have been successful at the highest level. Players are often caught in two minds to whether to attack the new ball or play the first few overs with a cautious approach.
In such a scenario, it is the batsman at the other end whose role becomes equally important. Today, we take a look at 3 of the most successful opening pairs in ODI cricket.
1. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (6609 runs in 136 innings @ 49.32)
The Indian opening duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly did the job for the team during the late 90s and the early 2000s. Undoubtedly, both can be counted among the best ODI openers of all-time. Both Sachin and Sourav complemented each other very well. There was always great communication between the two batters in regards to who was to attack while the other would play the second fiddle role.
At times Tendulkar was the aggressor among the two while on occasions Ganguly looked in ominous touch and Tendulkar would wait for his chances. It was a result of their understanding that they both were highly successful while playing for India during some tough times.
2. Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist (5310 runs in 114 innings @ 47.84)
Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist opened for Australia during an era when the Aussies dominated the world cricket. Mostly, it was their openers who would set the ball rolling with attacking stroke-play at the top of the order. Both of them were instinctive players and loved playing their shots.
The successful ODI opening pair of Hayden-Gilchrist was one of the main reasons why Australia were nearly unbeatable in the first decade of the 21st century. The two Southpaws averaged nearly 50 while batting together in 114 ODI innings for the Kangaroos. Both Gilchrist and Hayden, for what they did for Australia, will definitely be among the two best ODI openers of all-time.
3. Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (5212 runs in 102 innings @ 52.65)
Two of the most consistent players during the 1980s, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes were hugely responsible for West Indies’ emphatic run during that period. Though their exploits in Test cricket were regarded highly, it didn’t belittle their contribution to West Indies in the limited-overs format.
With a right and the left-hand opening combination, Greenidge and Haynes were a formidable opening duo for the Caribbean team. With an average in upwards of 52, both of them scored 5212 runs batting together. The duo opened for West Indies’ in their successful campaign in World Cup 1979 while they even batted in a humiliating loss against India in World Cup 1983 Final.