Guwahati: Opening batsmen play a defining role in a team’s overall performance, especially in a T20 game. As they go out smashing the bowlers to the stands during the powerplay, they set the rhythm of the match. Teams seek an ideal opening pair ones who complement each other at the top.
Left-right combination, same-styled pairs have received considerable success.
With the 13th season of the Indian Premier League all set to start from September 19, we bring you the three most destructive opening pairs to look out for this season.
Chris Gayle – KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)
The name Chris Gayle is enough alone to scare off any opposition. With an average of over 40 at a strike rate of 145-plus, the big Jamaican left-hander has seven half-centuries under his belt in the last two seasons of the tournament.
Accompanying him will be the Kings XI skipper KL Rahul, who has been an absolute pleasure to watch in the past couple of years. With 659 and 593 runs in the 2018 and 2019 season of the IPL respectively, the Karnataka-born will undoubtedly form a deadly pair at the top with Gayle.
Rohit Sharma – Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)
Rohit Sharma at the top of the order is a dream for any team. The India opener hits the ball as cleanly as anyone in world cricket. With 405 runs at a strike rate of 128.57 in IPL 2019 at the top, hitman will be pretty confident of once again going out in the middle and blasting it off. With Chris Lynn on the MI side now, it will be an absolute treat to watch at the top. Lynn has been magnificent for KKR at the top. With 295 runs in seven innings in at an impressive average of 49.17 and a phenomenal strike rate of 180.98 in the year 2017, Mumbai Indians will have high hopes from the Aussie.
With the presence of Quinton de Cock, MI outscores the other teams in terms of opening options.
David Warner – Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Although both the batsmen didn’t play the entire tournament last year, missing out on the last few matches due to international commitments, they still made sure to emerge as one of the most destructive opening combinations in IPL 2019.
Warner with his lethal best amassed 692 runs at an average of 69.20, with eight fifties and a hundred in the season, while Bairstow, playing his maiden IPL season smashed 445 runs at an average of 55.42, a strike rate of 157.24, along with a century and two half-centuries.
Warner and Bairstow are currently playing the Vitality T20 series in England. Both the batsmen would have the much-needed match feel before they start the IPL.