In the list of iconic players who have opened for India in T20I, Rohit Sharma is one such name that still continues to rule the roost. In an era where T20I cricket is more prominent than the ODIs, we acknowledge some of India’s all-time greatest openers to have graced us as opening batters.
However, the other top five players list may shock you.
Runs: 519* | High Score: 89 | Average: 30.52
Ishan Kishan, aged 24 years, rose to fame after a string of impressive performances in the Indian T20 League. He has been given multiple opportunities to open for India, which he has availed to the fullest. In his 17 innings opening for India, Kishan has amassed 519 runs including a wonder innings against Sri Lanka where he scored a whopping 89 off 56 balls. He was still relatively a young talent who had the gall to play with such aggression against a team like Sri Lanka.
In his one year playing for India in T20I, he has already surpassed the likes of Virender Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane in runs and continues to be one of the favourites for the opening batter’s role.
Runs: 932 | High Score: 75 | Average: 27.41
Gautam Gambhir is one of the most iconic players to have ever graced the Indian side. A veteran opener for the Men in Blue, Gambhir was not only a critical opener for India in ODIs but also T20Is. He played a crucial role in India’s T20 World Cup triumph in 2007, where he finished the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer behind the Australian Matthew Hayden.
Lest we forget the 75 he scored in the final against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final, that helped India extend its target to 158. His efforts were the reason India could hold onto their target for as long as they did.
Runs: 1,462 runs* | High Score: 91 | Average: 37.48
India’s vice-captain, KL Rahul is a veteran of the opening spot for India. Having scored nearly 1,500 runs in T20I as an opener, Rahul is in the top three highest-scoring Indians in this format. With an average of 37.48, he is one of the few most efficient batters who are fit to open for the Men in Blue.
His fiery knock of 91 in 56 balls against the West Indies was an example of how troublesome he can be as an opener. He continues to play as an opener alongside his captain Rohit Sharma for India.
Runs: 1,759* | High Score: 92 | Average: 27.92
Although he isn’t seen in big matches anymore, Shikhar Dhawan was once a dominant opener for India. The 36-year-old has played his entire T20I career as an opener for India, amassing nearly 1,800 runs.
One of his most memorable innings came against the West Indies when he scored 92 off 62 balls to help India win by six wickets.
Runs: 3,139* | High Score: 118 | Average: 33.04
Captain Rohit Sharma is India’s greatest T20I opener of all-time. In a career spanning over a decade, Sharma has been the most prolific Indian opener, having scored over 3,000 runs in the format. Overall, Sharma is the player with the most overall runs in T20I cricket. However, as an opener, Sharma stands second behind New Zealand opener Martin Guptil, with a difference of just 31 runs.
Rohit Sharma continues to be one of India’s most reliable openers, especially after becoming the captain of the team. Sharma’s most memorable moment in T20I cricket came against Sri Lanka, where he opened with fellow KL Rahul and ripped apart the Sri Lankan field with his devastating batting. He smashed 118 in just 48 balls smashing 12 boundaries and 10 maximums!
To this date, Sharma remains the only Indian opener to score a century in T20I cricket, having smashed four tons.
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