Opening partnerships often determine the outcome of the match. If your openers get to a good start, then your team does well, more often than not. If your openers get out early, your team will most likely have a batting collapse.
Over the years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen many legendary opening combinations, many opening partnerships and many legendary openers. So who were the most incredible opening partners in IPL history? Today we shall be taking a look at the top 5 greatest opening partners of all time.
Note: One should understand that this is not the list of highest opening stands in IPL cricket. If you want to check out the top 10 opening partnership in IPL history, you can find the list here.
This list is formed with the intention of listing down the top five opening duo in IPL history. Factors like higher consistency and the match winning attributes have been taken into consideration while ranking these pairs.
1) David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan:
It is safe to call them the most remarkable opening pair in IPL history. Both of them were SRH’s greatest weapons for a long time. Although Warner is still their captain and their best player, the addition of Dhawan always made them a force to reckon with. Both of them have scored close to 2000 runs at an average of about 50 together. It was their successful opener pair that resulted in SRH’s maiden and only IPL title.
2) Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli
Arguably two of the greatest IPL players of all time, Gayle and Kohli, are among the greatest pairs in IPL history. Despite occasionally batting at 3, Kohli ensured that he opened with Gayle in most of the matches back then. Both. Shockingly, RCB hasn’t won a title despite having both of them together for so long. Both of them have scored more than 2500 runs for RCB together.
3) Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay:
One of the significant reasons why CSK won three titles on the trot was their opening pair. Loyal CSK fans would know how good Vijay and Hussey were at the top. Both of them have scored 1367 runs at an average of 40 together. This feat is more impressive as neither Hussey nor Vijay had any big-hitting reputation before coming together for CSK. Their best effort came in a tournament winning final in 2011 when they put together 159 runs for the first wicket against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
4) Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa:
KKR fans owe a lot to Gambhir and Uthappa. Both of them were absolutely sensational at the top. They were one of the major reasons behind KKR’s successful 2014 campaign. They had opening partnerships of 121, 106 and 68 in the tournament’s final stages, which led to their IPL title win. Both of them have scored 1711 runs at an average of close to 50 while batting together.
5) Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis:
Relatively recent, Watson and Faf were a successful opening pair for CSK. It was them who were responsible for CSK’s successful campaign in 2018. While Faf won the Qualifier 1 against SRH in 2018, it was Watson who won the final all on his own. They were reasonably good in 2019 and 2020 as well. They had a partnership of 180+ against KXIP in the previous season as well.