Most Runs Partnership By Indian Openers: India has a rich history of producing exceptional batsmen in the world of One Day International (ODI) cricket, with many of them primarily featuring in the top order.
From legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Navjot Sidhu to the modern icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill, India has seen numerous talented openers take the crease. Batting as an opener in any format of the game is a challenging task, particularly when contending with the early swing and movement of the cricket ball.
However, once the openers overcome the initial challenges and settle into their rhythm, they often become a source of substantial runs for their team throughout the innings.
In this article, we will delve into India’s top five opening partnerships in ODI cricket in terms of runs scored.
Most Runs Partnership By Indian Openers in ODIs:
Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar – 6609 runs
The legendary duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly not only stands as India’s most successful opening pair but also holds the record for the highest opening partnership in the history of ODIs.
Together, they amassed an impressive 6609 runs in 136 innings, with an average partnership score of 49.32.
This average even surpasses that of Australia’s celebrated pair, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, who averaged 48.39.
Tendulkar and Ganguly also set a world record with 21 century stands as openers and achieved the highest opening partnership for India in an ODI innings, a remarkable 285 runs against Kenya in 2001.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma – 5148 runs
Another highly successful right-left opening combination for India was that of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who began their partnership in 2013. In 115 ODI innings together, they scored 5148 runs at an average of 45, playing pivotal roles in India’s victory during the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Rohit and Dhawan hold the fourth-highest ODI opening partnership run record and managed to achieve 18 century opening partnerships, with their best being 210 runs against Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup.
Also Read: Most Runs Partnership By Indian Openers
Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar – 3919 runs
Between 2002 and 2012, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar formed an exceptional opening pair for India. Their partnership saw them accumulate 3919 runs in 93 ODI innings, boasting an average partnership score of 42.13.
Known for their contrasting playing styles, Tendulkar and Sehwag crafted 12 ODI century stands together at the top of the order, a crucial factor in India’s 2011 World Cup triumph.
Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag – 1870 runs
When Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly moved down the order to provide experience in the middle, India inadvertently discovered another potent opening partnership in Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.
This left-right combination produced 1870 runs in only 38 opening partnerships spanning from 2003 to 2013. They averaged a remarkable 50.54 as opening partners and notched up five century partnerships during their tenure.
Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth – 1680 runs
Finally, we rewind to the 1980s, a significant period in India’s cricketing history, where Kapil Dev’s side secured the 1983 World Cup. During the years 1981 to 1987, India’s opening pair consisted of the dependable Sunil Gavaskar and the flamboyant Kris Srikkanth.
Despite the challenges of playing ODI cricket with a red ball that offered significant swing and seam movement, Gavaskar and Srikkanth opened in 55 ODIs, achieving an average partnership score of 30.54, a commendable feat for the conditions of that era.
These opening partnerships reflect the rich tradition of Indian cricket, showcasing some of the finest batsmen who have graced the ODI format.