‘They have scored a lot of runs’: Aakash Chopra names best opening pair in Test cricket

The likes of Hayden-Langer, Sehwag-Gambhir, Smith-Gibbs or Cook-Strauss have been extremely successful in the longest format of the game while batting together.
Aakash Chopra.(BCCI/IPL)
Aakash Chopra.(BCCI/IPL)
Updated on Jul 31, 2020 09:50 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com

Former India batsman turned cricket commentator Aakash Chopra recently talked about the best opening pairs in Test cricket currently. Opening two batsmen in Test cricket have always held an important role in the team’s success and we have seen several batting pairs becoming legends while playing with each other. The likes of Hayden-Langer, Sehwag-Gambhir, Smith-Gibbs or Cook-Strauss have been extremely successful in the longest format of the game while batting together.

In the current scenario, Chopra picked an unlikely pair in New Zealand’s Tom Latham and Tom Blundell as the best openers in Test cricket currently.

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“They are good because they average 47.14. And they have scored a lot of runs at home, with the New Zealand conditions being tough. Latham averages 52.9 and Blundell 41.3.

“Blundell also had a very good tour to Australia. We can call this pair fairly decent. Tom Latham has scored runs in India as well while Blundell didn’t come here,” Chopra said on his Youtube channel.

Chopra also feels Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma are not far behind as they have done a good job in the limited opportunities they have got.

“It is a new partnership and it is growing. They have done a good job in the limited opportunities. They have an average of almost 70 together with Rohit averaging 73.6 and Mayank 57.3. These are fairly good numbers.

“But what goes against them is that they have not played together outside India. When we went to New Zealand, Mayank had Prithvi Shaw as the partner as Rohit was not there, and before that Rohit was not being made to open. Mayank was fairly decent but we have not seen Rohit as an opener overseas,” Chopra continued.

While the England openers seem ‘okay’, Chopra was scathing in his review of the South African pair of Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram.

“They have been opening for a long time. Elgar even scored quite a few runs in one match in India. They have an average partnership of 12.53, which you can say is absolutely ridiculous, with a highest partnership of 56. Markram has an individual average of 25.6 while Elgar’s is 29.3. Obviously, when their individual averages are less, the partnership average would also be low,” Aakash Chopra stated.

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The partnership of Joe Burns and David Warner impressed Chopra though.

“They have actually done a decent job. They have a partnership average of 65.4 with Warner averaging 55.1 and Burns 41.8. So, it’s not too bad at all. But are they the best at the moment? Warner coming to India - no way. Burns when he comes, we will see.

“I personally feel that they are doing good but Warner didn’t have a good Ashes as well. In challenging conditions, you find Warner slightly wanting and Joe Burns is still too young. Till some time back, Marcus Harris was opening for them,” Chopra said about the Australian duo.

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