IPL 2022 Exclusive: Ranking and Rating the Openers of all 10 Teams

Lucknow Super Giants with the best set of openers as we look at the ranking and rating of openers of all 10 teams for IPL 2022. 

Openers – the one contingent of players that generate the maximum excitement. They are the ones who not only take the first bite of bullets but also define the course of the match. With so many important factors in place, teams tend to invest heavily in the openers category. 

The year 2022 will see a lot of established as well as potential young openers. From the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, David Warner, etc., to the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Anuj Rawat, etc. Most teams prefer to have this combination. While some get the desired players, some are left missing on good players. 

In this article, we would be rating and ranking the openers of all 10 teams for IPL 2022. In general, a team needs two solid openers, one good primary backup opener, and at least one decent secondary backup opener. That’s how the opening combination of a team would look strong if it meets all these criteria. 

Methodology:

  • Openers are classified as two first-choice openers, primary backup opener, and secondary backup opener. 
  • All openers are relatively rated on a scale of 10, basis their last three IPL’s performance, and their current International / Domestic form with weightage being given to their IPL performance.
  • The two first-choice openers are given a maximum rating of 10. Whereas the Primary backup opener and secondary backup opener are given a maximum rating of 7.5 and 5 respectively. 

Benchmark Opener for IPL 2022: KL Rahul

Alright then, let’s look at the rating and ranking of openers of each Team for IPL 2022. 

#10: Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8.17

Two Solid Openers: Rahul Tripathi and Abhishek Sharma 

Primary Backup Opener: Aiden Markram

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Kane Williamson 

The number 10 position belongs to a team that Invested more in middle-order batters than Openers this time. In fact, two of their four openers are actually first-choice batters for the middle-order positions. SRH have Rahul Tripathi and Abhishek Sharma as their first-choice openers. While there is a high possibility that Kane would play as an opener, for this article, he is considered in the middle-order.

Rahul Tripathi is the team’s best opener with a rating of 8.75. He is followed by Aiden Markram with a rating of 8.25 and Abhishek Sharma with a rating of 7.5. Kane Williamson is more or a secondary backup for SRH. Overall, the team of 2022 doesn’t have a star opener like Warner or Bairstow. Thus, SRH have to settle for a cumulative rating of 8.17 in the openers category for IPL 2022. 

#9: Kolkata Knight Riders – 8.18

Two Solid Openers: Sam Billings and Venkatesh Iyer 

Primary Backup Opener: Aaron Finch 

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Ajinkya Rahane 

Coming to the number 9 position, we have the Men in Purple, Kolkata Knight Riders. Until last weak, they were in 7th position, but the departure of Alex Hales leaves a big hole at the top, which Aaron Finch may or may not be able to fill. For the time being, Venkatesh Iyer and Sam Billings are their two solid openers with a rating of 8.25 each. 

Aaron Finch is KKR’s primary backup opener, and he also has a rating of 8.25. Ajinkya Rahane is the team’s secondary backup opener with a rating of 7.75. KKR would rely heavily on Venkatesh Iyer this time around as well, and would be hoping for him to continue his form. But overall, KKR aren’t so strong in the openers category, and thus have to settle for a cumulative rating of 8.18.

#8: Gujarat Titans – 8.27

Two Solid Openers: Shubman Gill & Matthew Wade

Primary Backup Opener: Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Wriddhiman Saha

Number 7 position was a close contest between Gujarat Titans and Royal Challengers Bangalore, but Gujarat Titans have a slightly under-par opening attack – thanks to Jason Roy. After having lost Jason Roy, Gujarat Titans’ openers rating came down from 8.33 to 8.27. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, with a rating of 8 was named as his replacement, but he isn’t a like-for-like replacement. 

Overall, young Shubman Gill is Gujarat Titans’ best opener with a rating of 8.75. He is followed by Matthew Wade with a rating of 8.25. Saha is their secondary backup with a rating of 7.75. The opening combination is decent with not a single stand out opener. Shubman will have to bear a lot of weight in the batting. Thus, Gujarat Titans will have to settle for a rating of 8.27 in the openers category.

#7: Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8.28

Two Solid Openers: Faf du Plessis & Finn Allen

Primary Backup Opener: Anuj Rawat

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Virat Kohli

RCB does have Faf du Plessis as the fourth-best opener of the tournament with a rating of 9.5, but it is the other openers that cause the reduction in rating. While Finn Allen with a rating of 8.25 doesn’t have much IPL experience, Anuj Rawat is still quite young and inexperienced, thus has a rating of 5.5.

Virat Kohli may be a good option as opener, but only if he opens. For now, he is considered a middle-order batter. Overall, captain Faf du Plessis will have to bear a lot of responsibility for RCB at the start. It would be difficult for Finn Allen to play alongside Faf due to overseas restrictions. Nevertheless, RCB are 7th with a cumulative rating of 8.28 in the openers category.

#6: Mumbai Indians – 8.52

Two Solid Openers: Rohit Sharma & Ishan Kishan

Primary Backup Opener: Anmolpreet Singh

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Suryakumar Yadav

Number 5 sees Mumbai Indians with dynamic opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan. While Rohit carries a rating of 9.25, Ishan Kishan isn’t far behind with a rating of 9. These two form the fourth-best opening pair of the competition behind LSG, PBKS, and DC. while these two are brilliant, they only have Anmolpteet as their backup – this is assuming Suryakumar Yadav will play in the middle-order. 

This is the only reason their overall opener category rating goes down to 8.52; which is technically not so bad. If Mumbai Indians don’t feel a need for backup, their opening combination is sorted. Nevertheless, for now, Mumbai Indians have a cumulative rating of 8.52 in the openers category.

#5: Rajasthan Royals – 8.54

Two Solid Openers: Jos Buttler & Devdutt Padikkal

Primary Backup Opener: Daryl Mitchell

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Yashasvi Jaiswal

At number 5, we have the Pink Army from Jaipur, Rajasthan Royals. Led by the fifth-best opener of the tournament, Jos Buttler, the RR opening contingent looks good. Jos Buttler is supported by two young Indian openers in the form of Devdutt Padikkal and Yashasvi Jaiswal. However, only one of these two might play as an opener with the other playing at 3. This is the only reason their overall rating is low. 

In addition, RR also have Daryl Mitchell as another backup opener. The Kiwi all-rounder opener can come in handy in situations where overseas players aren’t available. From the rating standpoint, Jos Buttler stands at 9.5. He is followed By Padikkal at 8.5, Daryl Mitchell at 8 and Yashasvi Jaiswal at 7.5. Overall, RR get a cumulative rating of 8.54 in the openers category.

IPL 2022 top rating and ranking the openers of all 10 teams
Pre-tournament Highest-rated Openers for IPL 2022 // Cricalytics

#4: Chennai Super Kings – 8.60

Two Solid Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad & Devon Conway

Primary Backup Opener: Robin Uthappa

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Ambati Rayudu

At number 4, we have the Men in Yellow, Chennai Super Kings. Led by Ruturaj Gaikwad with a rating of 9, who was the Orange Cap winner last year, and has also been in scintillating form in different domestic tournaments. Instead of Faf, CSK now have Devon Conway as their second opener, and he carries a rating of 8.5.

From the Backup standpoint, CSK have Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu with a rating of 8.25 each. However, in the most-likely scenario, both Uthappa and Rayudu may play in the middle-order. Overall, CSK of 2022 isn’t as strong as CSK of 2021 when it comes to opening. Nevertheless, CSK still manage to get a cumulative rating of 8.6 in the openers category.

#3: Punjab Kings – 8.71

Two Solid Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Jonny Bairstow

Primary Backup Opener: Mayank Agarwal

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Prabsimran Singh

When you have Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, and Mayank Agarwal as your top three openers, you are bound to be one of the best opening contingents of the competition. Shikhar Dhawan is undoubtedly PBKS’s best opener with a rating of 9.75. He is followed by Jonny Bairstow with 9.5 and Mayank with 8.75.

PBKS would have got a higher rating had their secondary backup opener been a little stronger. Nothing against Prabsimran Singh, but his rating makes PBKS’s rating slightly below-par. Nevertheless, PBKS have a sorted top 3, and this their cumulative rating for the openers stands at 8.71.

#2: Delhi Capitals – 8.75

Two Solid Openers: David Warner & Prithvi Shaw

Primary Backup Opener: Tim Seifert

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Mandeep Singh

In 2021, Delhi Capitals had Shikhar and Prithvi Shaw as their openers. Come to 2022, Delhi Capitals have David Warner and Prithvi Shaw as their openers. This seems like a like-for-like replacement in terms of quality and performance. In addition, Delhi Capitals have Tim Seifert and Mandeep Singh as primary and secondary backup respectively. 

From the rating perspective, David Warner has been a top performer in IPL and across the formats, and thus has a rating of 9.75. Prithvi Shaw’s rising stardom takes his rating to 8.75. Whereas Tim Seifert and Mandeep Singh flow them with a rating of 8.25 and 7.5 respectively. Overall, Delhi Capitals are second on the list of best openers with a rating of 8.75. 

#1: Lucknow Super Kings  – 9.10

Two Solid Openers: KL Rahul & Quinton de Kock 

Primary Backup Opener: Evin Lewis 

Secondary Backup Opener(s): Kyle Mayers 

When you have KL Rahul, the current best T20 opener in the World alongside Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, and Kyle Mayers, you got to have the best opening combination in the world. There’s hardly any gap in their opening combination with all 4 options being valuable. 

When it comes to rating, KL Rahul undoubtedly tops the chart with a perfect rating of 10. He is followed by Quinton de Kock with a rating of 9, Evin Lewis with a rating of 8.75 and Kyle Mayers with a rating of 8. Given their lowest rating is 8 and highest rated being 10, Lucknow Super Giants get a cumulative rating of 9.1 in the openers category. 

So, that completes the ranking a rating of openers of all 10 teams for IPL 2022. The combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow remains the best in the competition, but that’s unlikely to be seen as Mayank Agarwal would open and Bairstow would play 1 down. But Lucknow Super Giants take the crown for the best opening combination for IPL 2022. 

Thanks for reading! Which team has the best set of openers for IPL 2022? Please email your thoughts to business@cricalytics.com


ALSO READ: IPL 2022 Special: Rating and Ranking the Best Playing 11 of all 10 Teams


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