In the 1990s, batting in one-day cricket was revolutionised with the emergence of attacking openers. While Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharane kept on attacking from both ends, Sachin Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist too used the fielding restrictions to his advantage to play his part in changing the modern game. Tendulkar found the ideal partners in Sourav Ganguly and later Virender Sehwag to take on the opposition.

With neither of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Adam Gilchrist, Sanath Jayasurya or Virender Sehwag who changed the face of ODI and the opening batting, aren’t in the ODI format at the moment, here we bring you the list of top five opening pairs in ODI cricket.

10. HH Gibbs, GC Smith (South Africa):

South Africa was blessed with two amazing batmen opening for them. Gibbs, who can turn the match’s state on his day and Smith who can play sensibly and reform the innings together opened for South Africa. They gave great starts in their period and helped in South Africans triumphs. They both opened in 74 innings and contributed 3007 runs at an average of 41.19 which included 8 Century and 13 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 174.

9. TM Dilshan, WU Tharanga (Sri Lanka):

The young Sri Lanka duo of Dilshan and Tharanga played the crucial part in their team’s road to Final in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Dilshan plays the aggressor role in the pair and Tharanga played sheer anchor role. In the 67 innings they opened they scored 3052 runs at an average of 46.24 which included 9 Century and 13 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 282, the 2nd of all-time.

8. ST Jayasuriya, RS Kaluwithana (Sri Lanka):

This Sri Lankan pair will be remembered for bringing the revolution of using the field restrictions. Jayasuriya was far the main contributor, whereas Kaluwithana played a supporting role. These both scored at an average of 31.05 only but the pace with which they used to begin the innings was lightening. In the 105 innings opened, they contributed 3230 runs which included 6 Century and 19 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 129.

7. MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka):

Soon after Kaluwithana, Jayasuriya found a good partner to open the innings. He is none other than Atapattu. These both unlikely of Jaya-Kalu duo they use to play long. They scored at an average of 43.92 with their best been 237. They opened in 79 innings and contributed 3382 runs which included 8 Century and 19 Half-Century partnerships.

6. DC Boon, GR Marsh (Australia):

This veteran Australian duo of Boon and Marsh opened for Australian in 88 innings. Marsh among the both plays with better pace. They both opened contributed 3528 runs at an average of 40.03 which included 7 Century and 25 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 212.

5. AC Gilchrist, ME Waugh (Australia):

One of the most destructive batsmen in modern day cricket, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh were the first of the opening pair in Australian line up that was in a phase of taking over world cricket as an unstoppable force. This duo stands at fifth position with 3853 runs in 93 innings. They scored at an average of 41.43 which included 8 Century and 20 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 206.

4. V Sehwag, SR Tendulkar (India):

Watching Sachin Tendulkar opening the innings brought down the entire nation to a standstill, when Virender Sehwag started to open the innings with his role model, fans could not have asked for more. It was also the time when Tendulkar had evolved from an explosive opening batsman to a more matured player, dropping anchor to the innings and letting Sehwag to unleash upon the opposition.
The Master Blaster and the Najafgarh Nawab stand fourth in the list with 3919 runs from 93 innings. These both were the most explosive pair that opened in recent times. This duo powered India to 2003 and 2011 World Cup Finals. These scored at an average of 42.13 which included 12 Century and 18 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 182.

3. CG Greenidge, DL Haynes (West Indies):

Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes opened the innings for West Indies in an era when they dominated the world cricket, by winning successive ODI World Cups. They are often considered to be the best opening pair in the world cricket and their stats support the argument. They served as openers for the country for 12 long years. They have the best average among top 10 best opening pairs with amazing 52.55 amassing 5150 runs from 102 innings which included 18 Century and 24 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 192*.

2. AC Gilchrist, ML Hayden (Australia):

With Mathew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist opening the innings, the opposition team already knew who will be destroying them on that day. Both powerful hitters of the cricket ball, the opposition was always under the pressure until they saw the end of this pair, they are the second best opening pair with 5372 runs from 114 innings. This pair played a key role in Australia’s 2003 and 2007 World Cup campaigns where they gave a superb starts in both of the World Cup finals. They scored at an average of 48.39 per innings which included 16 Century and 29 Half-Century partnerships with a best of 172.

1. SC Ganguly, SR Tendulkar (India):

Tendulkar and Ganguly are far by the best opening pair in ODIs. The start of golden era in Indian cricket cannot be thought of these two. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly will be forever remembered as the most entertaining and successful opening pair. The right hand left hand combination worked brilliantly and the co-ordination between them was amazing.
At a time when the rules in ODI cricket were changing, Sourav Ganguly was one of the players who made most of the advantage of fielders inside the circle. Tendulkar and Ganguly sit at the top of the list of best opening pairs in ODI cricket with 6609 runs in 136 innings at an average of 49.32. They have 23 Half Century partnerships and a stunning 21 century opening partnerships, which is a world record, which will be impossible to break for a long time.

Taaza Vaartha

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