The openers play a hugely significant role in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The openers play a hugely significant role in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Being a T20 tournament, the opening batters are expected to get their team off to flying starts in the powerplay. Also, in a T20 game, openers have the best chance of scoring big runs once they spend some time in the middle.
Praveen Kumar and Wasim Jaffer
During the inaugural edition in 2008, RCB sprung a surprise by sending pacer Praveen Kumar to open the batting with Wasim Jaffer. In what can be described as one of the oddest opening combinations in IPL history, the experiment lasted just five balls.Kumar managed to swing the second ball of the first over from Glenn McGrath to the extra cover boundary. However, he was dismissed for 6, looking to work a good length delivery over the in-field on the on-side. Kumar only managed to find the fielder at the edge of the circle.RCB were chasing 192 for victory but ended up losing by 10 runs despite Jacques Kallis’ 54. McGrath was named Player of the Match for returning with figures of 4 for 29.
James Franklin and Sachin Tendulkar
Definitely not an opening combination that you can think of! In match 33 of IPL 2012, Mumbai Indians (MI) sent left-arm pacer James Franklin to open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar as they set out to chase 169 in Mohali. Now, Franklin has no mug with the bat and even has a Test hundred to his name. But the New Zealander was always seen as a lower-order hitter.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Mike Hussey
Yes, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also opened the innings in the IPL. He got the chance to do so during the 2013 edition, turning out for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Kolkata. Ashwin walked out to bat with his Australian left-hander Mike Hussey.CSK were chasing 120 for victory in the match and Ashwin contributed 11 off 13 balls. He began in style by flicking Lakshmipathy Balaji for a four through square leg in the first over. Ashwin hit one more boundary by sweeping Sachithra Senanayake over the square leg region. He was dismissed by Sunil Narine in the fifth over, miscuing an off-break straight to midwicket.
Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir
Seeing Sunil Narine open the batting for KKR in recent times is not a surprise, but back in 2017, it was. Narine opened the batting three times for the Melbourne Renegades in the 2016-17 Big Bash League (BBL) and KKR also decided to experiment with him. The left-hander opened the batting in the IPL for the first time against Kings XI Punjab in Kolkata.
Rahul Tripathi and Jofra Archer
Rajasthan Royals (RR) tried to get cheeky when they sent England fast bowler Jofra Archer to open the innings with Rahul Tripathi in the 53rd match of IPL 2018 against RCB in Jaipur. RR batted first after winning the toss but Archer’s stay ended in the second over itself. He was out for a four-ball duck, gloving Umesh Yadav down the leg as he was cramped for room by a ball that angled back in.