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Home / Cricket / 5 middle-order batsmen who became great openers

5 middle-order batsmen who became great openers

They were not as successful as middle-order batsmen, but when promoted to open the innings, they turned a corner and became match-winners.

cricket Updated: Apr 16, 2020 09:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
File image of Sanath Jayasuriya
File image of Sanath Jayasuriya(Twitter)

Over the years, there have been batsmen who have been bumped up the order as the team management was convinced they could prosper more if they face maximum deliveries. Quite often, they were not as successful as middle-order batsmen, but when promoted to open the innings, they turned a corner and became match-winners.

Here in this article, we take a look at five batsmen who were promoted to open the innings and this became a defining moment in their careers.

Rohit Sharma (India)

During his debut 2007, India boasted of a settled top order and that resulted in Rohit Sharma batting down the order. During an ODI encounter against England in early 2013, he opened the batting with Gautam Gambhir and made a gritty 83. He continued to fare well in the new batting position and currently, he boasts of a number of impressive records in limited overs cricket.

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Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)

Sanath Jayasuriya is considered to be one of the best opening batsmen in Sri Lanka ever but he started good innings as a middle-order batsman. The left-hander has batted as low as No. 7 before he was promoted to the top of the order in 1993-94. He opened the batting with Arjuna Ranatunga in a 1994 ODI encounter against Pakistan and the rest is history.

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

The swashbuckling Windies batsman started his career at No.4 and batted as low as No. 7 at the beginning of his international career. He first opened in ODIs against Zimbabwe, scoring 41 in 2000 at Bristol. He continued to hold the position and a brilliant century against Kenya in 2001 sealed it for Gayle.

Virender Sehwag (India)

The explosive batsman made his debut at No. 6, scoring a century in his first Test innings at Bloemfontein. He played at the same positions for the next five matches before he was asked to open the innings at Lord’s in 2002. He went on to score 84 and carried on the form with his second Test century in the very next match. He continued to play his role brilliantly and was a mainstay in the Indian cricket team for a very long time.

Adam Gilchrist (Australia)

Adam Gilchrist was well known for his aggressive batting and during his initial days, he was handed the No. 7 slot where he was expected to play as a slogger in the end overs. In the Carlton & United Series fixture against South Africa in January 1998, he was promoted up the order and in the very next match, he scored a brilliant hundred. Two matches later, he slammed another century and then, there was no looking back for the wicket-keeper batsman.

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