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Middle-order Batsmen who Became Successful Openers

First few minutes of the game are the most crucial ones if a team wants to start as the favourites. These batsmen started their career as a middle-order batsman but got a chance to open and proved everyone wrong who doubted their abilities.

Last updated: 05.10.2019
Middle-order Batsmen who Became Successful Openers | Sports Social Blog

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First few minutes of the game are the most crucial ones if a team wants to start as the favourites.

The job of openers is no mean task. They need to have a clear mindset, a high level of patience and concentration. 


However, there have been a few batsmen who have accepted the challenge of opening.

These batsmen started their career as a middle-order batsmen but got a chance to open and proved everyone wrong who doubted their abilities.


1) Rohit Sharma

1st October 2019, India announced it's the squad for the first test against South Africa. Rohit Sharma was set to open. Sceptics believed that promoting a 30+ Rohit was a step backwards. As the game proceeded, Rohit looked very comfortable, it never looked as if he was opening for the first time in the longest format of the game. This was because of the experience and belief he carries with himself. In 53rd over Rohit chopped the ball to sweeper cover and took off the helmet, raises his bat and there was satisfaction on his face as he reached to his 3rd Test hundred and first while opening.

In 2007 Rohit Sharma made his debut for ODI team where he was handed with the responsibility of middle order. With strings of low scores, Rohit was becoming a major source of concern. He was certainly looking for a breakthrough. ICC Champions Trophy 2013 provided Rohit with the opportunity of his life. Where Captain MS Dhoni promoted Rohit as the opener. 

He capitalized this golden opportunity and scored 177 runs in 5 innings. This changed the position for Rohit Sharma and from here on he lever looked back. When he was not an opening batsmen, he scored 2 centuries and 12 fifties batting in positions from 3-7 at an average of 26.8. But these less than ordinary numbers changed to extraordinary after Rohit was promoted up.

In 2013, he blasted an unbeaten 141 against Australia and in that very series, he compiled a mammoth 209, and followed it up with a scintillating, record-breaking effort of 264 the very next year. 

Temperament to stay calm under pressure situations with run-scoring abilities and the high level of concentration moulded him into a batting behemoth with his current numbers matching up to his ability.

Afterwards, he has played 104 innings and scored 5240 runs with an average of 57.69.

2) Virender Sehwag

You can never ignore "The sultan of Multan" while talking about openers. 

Ganguly promoted the batsmen with the least feet movement when India were addressing top-order troubles.

Sehwag who played 5 Tests before and was an ODI opener, was all set to open the innings against England in the Lord's. Hence it was a surprising move by Ganguly of sending this power-packed batsman to face the all-new red cherry.

Sehwag played his natural game and dominated the England bowling attack, he made an early impression by scoring 84 of 96 balls. He carried on his form with his second Test century in the very next match. He scored 195 against a top-notch pace attack in Australia and showed his true potential. 

Afterwards, he became the first Indian to score a triple century and inspired India for a historic series win against Pakistan in 2004. In the Later few innings, he smashed Sri Lankan bowlers all over the Brabourne Stadium and scored 284 runs in a day and threatened to break Don Bradman's record.

Sehwag served Indian cricket in his own way.

3) Sanath Jayasuriya

He came in the Sri Lankan squad as a slow left-arm orthodox bowler who could bat a little, but he improvised and evolved himself into a destructive opener.

In 1993 he was promoted up the order. Before getting the opening opportunity he was moved up and down in the line-up and even batting as low as No.7. In an ODI against Pakistan, in 1994, he opened the batting with Arjuna Ranatunga and scored 77. After that, there was no looking back, as he made the opening position his own. He ended with 21,032 international runs to his name.

4) Tillakaratne Dilshan

Pre 2009, Dilshan was one of the inconsistent players in the Sri Lankan line-up. He was failing to score runs in the middle order. 

This motivated Sri Lankans to experiment a little bit and they promoted Dilshan as their opener for the series against New Zealand. In Galle, he scored a magnificent 92 of 72 in the first innings and a century in the second innings.

This was followed by a series of huge scores in all three formats.  He scored 6 centuries the same year and scored more than 1327 runs at an average of 64.52.

Afterwards, he was the leading run-scorer in the ICC 2011 World cup.


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