Punjab Kings, the team with the best set of openers as we look at the rating and ranking of openers of all teams for the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE.
Openers are the heart of any Team. They lay of foundation by facing probably the toughest phase in T20 Cricket, the powerplay overs. They are the ones who play the maximum number of deliveries, and most of the top run-getters in T20 Cricket are openers.
The IPL has also seen so many openers succeeding and giving their team not only a brilliant start and strong foundation but also match-winning knocks. As we get ready to witness the pinnacle of the T20 competition, IPL 2021, let’s look at the openers of all Teams, and analyze them from different angles.
So, In this article, we would be rating and ranking the openers of all teams for IPL 2021 UAE. In general, a team needs two solid openers, 1 good backup opener, and at least one decent backup opener to succeed. That’s how the opening combination of a team would look strong if it meets all these criteria.
- Openers are classified as best openers, Good backup opener, and other backup openers, and all are being rated on a scale of 10. However, for the overall rating calculation, the weighted average is taken with higher weightage given to the best openers.
- All openers are relatively rated with respect to benchmark opener basis their last two IPL’s performance, and/or their current International and Domestic form. However, more weightage has been given to IPL performance.
- While any player can play an additional role as ‘other backup’, best players and good backups should have a unique set of players. Also, 6 is the least rating for any player in the squad.
Benchmark Opener for IPL 2021 UAE: KL Rahul
Alright then, let’s look at the rating and ranking of the openers of all Teams for IPL 2021 UAE.
#8: Rajasthan Royals – 8.17
Two Best Openers: Liam Livingstone and Evin Lewis
Good Backup Opener: Glenn Phillips
Other Backup Opener(s): Yashasvi Jaiswal and Manan Vohra
The absence of Rajasthan Royals’ primary openers, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Steve Smith has taken a big toll on their rating in the openers category. Rajasthan Royals have Liam Livingstone and Evin Lewis ad their primary openers with a rating of 8.5 and 8.25 respectively.
However, it would be difficult for both of them to play together given the overseas player restrictions. Instead, RR might play one of their decent backup option, Yashasvi Jaiswal, which isn’t a bad option. If things don’t work out well, RR can always fall back to other decent options like Glenn Phillips and Manan Vohra.
Overall, Rajasthan Royals get a weighted average rating of 8.17 in the openers category.
#7: Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8.44
Two Best Openers: Virat Kohli & Devdutt Padikkal
Good Backup Opener: Mohammed Azharuddeen
Other Backup Opener(s): Tim David
RCB are the team with the least number of primary openers in the squad. On paper, RCB have only Devdutt Padikkal as the primary opener. Barring him, the likes of Mohammed Azharuddeen and Tim David are all make-shift openers. Even Virat Kohli isn’t a primary opener, and is more of an adapter as an opener.
Thankfully, RCB have achieved good success from their primary two openers, Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal, who have a rating of 9.5 and 8.75 respectively. But the team has a huge gap when it comes to backups. Mohammed Azharuddeen is young, whereas Tim David lacks IPL experience.
Overall, Royal Challengers Bangalore get a weighted average rating of 8.44 in the openers category.
#6: Kolkata Knight Riders – 8.48
Two Best Openers: Shubman Gill & Nitish Rana
Good Backup Opener: Tim Seifert
Other Backup Opener(s): Sunil Narine & Rahul Tripathi
Kolkata Knight Riders are the team that has openers full of potential, but a bit of lack of experience. Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana are the team’s two best openers with a rating of 8.5 and 8.75 respectively. Although both have tremendous potential, the output hasn’t been satisfactory for them. Rahul Tripathi, who is equally good mostly plays at number 3 with a rating of 8.25.
KKR have wicket-keeper batsman Tim Seifert as a good backup option and Sunil Narine as a decent backup opener. However, KKR seem to have moved on from Sunil Narine, the opener, and Tim Seifert might hardly get a chance in the star-studded overseas line-up of KKR.
Overall, Kolkata Knight Riders get a weighted average rating of 8.48 in the openers category.
#5: Chennai Super Kings – 8.58
Two Best Openers: Faf du Plessis & Ruturaj Gaikwad
Good Backup Opener: Robin Uthappa
Other Backup Opener(s): Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, and CH Nishaanth
Chennai Super Kings are one of the few teams that have a settled opening combination. Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad are CSK’s first-choice openers, and they have a rating of 9.5 and 8.25 respectively. Both are in really good form, and have been also performing well as seen in the first leg of IPL 2021.
Given that CSK are mostly reluctant to change their arsenal, the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, N Jagadeesan, and CH Nishaanth will remain as backups. To be honest, these are really good backups to have, and if required, they may not make it feel as if anything has changed.
Overall, Chennai Super Kings get a weighted average rating of 8.58 in the openers category.
#4: Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8.71
Two Best Openers: David Warner & Jason Roy
Good Backup Opener: Wriddhiman Saha
Other Backup Opener(s): Sreevats Goswami, Abhishek Sharma & Kane Williamson
Sunrisers Hyderabad saw some really bad news earlier this week when their best performing opener in IPL 2021, Jonny Bairstow withdrew from the tournament. With him gone, the opening duties shall once again rely on the most successful overseas batsman in IPL, David Warner, who has a rating of 9.25.
While Jason Roy may or may not get a chance to play, he is still a really good option to have with a rating of 8.5. Wriddhiman Saha and Sreevats Goswami shall fight for the remaining opener spot with Saha the leading contender. SRH can also try Abhishek Sharma or Kane Williamson in the opening department.
Overall, Sunrisers Hyderabad get a weighted average rating of 8.71 in the openers category.
#3: Delhi Capitals – 8.88
Two Best Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw
Good Backup Opener: Marcus Stoinis
Other Backup Opener(s): Steve Smith, Sam Billings, and Ajinkya Rahane
The red hot form of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan make an already strong opening category of Delhi Capitals more strong. Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw have been the best opening pair in IPL 2021 so far. Shikhar Dhawan’s form in the last two IPLs makes him the second-best opener in the competition with a rating of 9.75. Whereas Prithvi Shaw is not far behind with a rating of 8.75.
Delhi Capitals have backups in abundance in the form of good ones like Marcus Stoinis and Steve Smith, and decent ones in the form of Sam Billings and Ajinkya Rahane. While it is unlikely the opening combination shall change except for injury, Delhi Capitals’ strong backups make them the third-best team of openers.
Overall, Delhi Capitals get a weighted average rating of 8.88 in the openers category.
#2: Mumbai Indians – 9.08
Two Best Openers: Rohit Sharma & Quinton de Kock
Good Backup Opener: Chris Lynn
Other Backup Opener(s): Suryakmar Yadav, Ishan Kishan & Aditya Tare
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, and Chris Lynn. Do I say anything about this opening trio? The only other opening trio to match this is that of Punjab Kings, who have KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Chris Gayle. On paper, Rohit and QDK make for the second-best opening pair in the competition with a rating of 9.5 and 9.25 respectively.
Chris Lynn makes for a really good backup with a rating of 8.5, but it is unlikely he will play unless there’s an injury. The other backups are also quite good in the form of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Although both are currently playing in the middle-order. The team can also get wicket-keeper Aditya Tare for contingency issues.
Overall, Mumbai Indians get a weighted average rating of 9.08 in the openers category.
#1: Punjab Kings – 9.15
Two Best Openers: KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal
Good Backup Opener: Aiden Markram
Other Backup Opener(s): Chris Gayle & Prabsimran Singh
Undoubtedly, the best set of openers among all the teams, and majorly thanks to KL Rahul for that, who is the benchmark for all openers with a rating of 10. While KL Rahul has been in stunning form as an opener since 2018, Mayank Agarwal’s form in IPL 2020 and 2021 makes these two the best opening pair of the competition.
While the loss of Dawid Malan does deduct some points, the inclusion of Aiden Markram almost neutralizes that. Also, even though Chris Gayle plays at 3, he can always be included as an opener, hence he is an important backup. Apart from these 4, PBKS have Prabsimran Singh as a decent backup.
Overall, Punjab Kings get a weighted average rating of 9.15 in the openers category; the best among all the teams.
So, that completes the rating and ranking of openers of each team for IPL 2021 UAE. Talking about the top 3 openers in IPL 2021 currently, it has to be KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, and Faf du Plessis. These three are closely followed by Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock, and David Warner.
Thanks for reading! Looking at the rating and ranking of openers for IPL 2021, which team do you think has the best set of openers? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.