With the evolution of cricket to its latest avatar where hitting the ball harder to notch up runs at a faster pace makes more sense than striking the ball in the most sensible ways to register more number of runs, strike rate has been a major parameter to judge a batsman’s brilliance in the shortest version of the game.
Especially in Indian Premier League which is a domestic Indian extravaganza, cricketers have learned to adapt themselves to the current need of the hour. The ones who have the highest number of opportunities to showcase some blistering excellence throughout the innings are the openers.
Coming at the top of the innings, it becomes a lot easier for the openers to register runs at a faster pace owing to the fielding restrictions in the powerplays. We will look at five openers in Indian Premier League who has contributed a significant amount of runs to their team’s cause and has done it very short span of time in context of facing lesser balls, thereby firing at a flying strike rate.
- David Warner – 142.39
One of the most phenomenal batsmen to have graced IPL is the Australian opener, David Warner. Notching up the Orange cap for a whopping three times, Warner has managed to smash 4706 runs from 126 games at a staggering strike rate of 142.39.
Known for his prolific boundary-hitting flair, Warner is also a fearless leader who can destroy any given opponents with relentless batting right since the beginning of the innings.
- Sanath Jayasuriya – 145.11
Though the Sri Lankan southpaw did not relish a favourable outing in the Indian Premier League, his limited dynamics were worth watching in the Mumbai Indian colours. With 772 runs from 30 games that included an unbeaten 114, Jayasuriya racked up runs at a steady rate of 145.11.
Even sans the concept of T-20 cricket, Jayasuriya was known for hammering the bowlers right since the outset. This format of the game just helped him to excel in his heroics.
- Chris Gayle – 151.02
Known as the Titan of cricket, Gayle’s pyrotechnics at the outset of an innings is more than enough to take the match away from the opposition in a matter of 10 overs out of a 20-overs contest.
The remarkable knock of an unbeaten 175 against Pune validated the fact that why he is still the best opener in T-20 cricket. Known for his monstrous shots out of the park, Gayle has notched up 4484 runs in IPL at a staggering strike rate of 151.02 that includes 369 boundaries and 326 over-boundaries which is the highest in the tournament as of now.
- Virender Sehwag – 155.44
A man known for kissing his half-centuries and centuries in the most belligerent fashion with a telling boundary or a sixer, Sehwag has been India’s most aggressive opener. With his classic cover drive and his remarkable dance down the pitch to whack the bowler to any remote corner of the field, Sehwag won a thousand hearts.
The former captain of Delhi Daredevils played 104 matches which also had stints for Kings XI Punjab before finally calling it a day. Sehwag smacked 2728 runs in IPL at an astonishing strike rate of 155.44. With 334 boundaries and 155 over-boundaries, Sehwag’s contributions to his franchises were of imperious dominance.
- Sunil Narine – 168.34
The most unexpected name in this list is the one who claims the ace, in fact his strike rate is in the second spot of the tournament’s highest strike rates, Sunil Narine. Mainly known for his enigmatic spin bowling, Narine was promoted to open the innings for KKR alongside Chris Lynn, after a suitable choice to take the destructive stance was not spotted despite a rigorous search.
Though his innings aren’t that long, however, the storm brewed at the start of the knock makes life easier for the KKR batsmen. With 771 runs that feature 44 sixes, Narine has notched up a strike rate of 168.34.