The role of an opener is very important in T20 cricket. Usually, the performance in the powerplay defines the probable outcome of the game. While bowlers are asked to pick as many wickets as possible, the task of a batter could be different. Scoring runs is important but the opener should also have an eye for the entire innings. In line with this, a few might opt to play the role of an anchor, as well. On that note, in this article, we take a look at the list of five players who have scored the most IPL runs as an opener in the history of the tournament so far.
5) Ajinkya Rahane (Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiants, and Delhi Capitals)
Matches as an opener: 112 || Runs: 3462 || Average: 35.33
Ajinkya Rahane stands at No.5 in this list of players who have scored the most IPL runs as an opener. Although he is not in good form at the moment, when he was at his peak, Rahane served well for the teams he represented.
He was not a big hitter but Rahane left an impression with his ability to integrate traditional forms of run-scoring in T20 cricket. He has even got two centuries in the competition. In IPL 2022, Rahane could get an opportunity to open again with Kolkata Knight Riders.
4) Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals)
Matches as an opener: 123 || Runs: 3597 || Average: 32.12
When he was at Delhi Capitals, Gautam Gambhir played at No.3 for a few encounters. However, for the most part of his IPL career, the cricketer has operated as an opener.
A consistent run-getter, Gambhir is the tenth highest run-scorer in IPL so far. At KKR, Gambhir had an important role in anchoring the innings and then changing gears depending on the situation. Gambhir played at a strike rate of 124 as an opener.
3) Chris Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings)
Matches as an opener: 122 || Runs: 4480 || Average: 41.87
Not just IPL, Chris Gayle is arguably the best opener that T20 cricket has seen. Hence, it is not at all a surprise that he features on this list.
When he was at RCB, Gayle used to single-handedly change games with his displays at the top of the order. Gayle enjoys a stunning strike rate of above 150 while playing as an opener. However, since 2017, the returns have been low and Gayle will now not participate in IPL 2022.
2) David Warner (Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches as an opener: 129 || Runs: 4794 || Average: 40.97
It is almost unimaginable to see David Warner not playing as an opener. However, it needs to be noted that when he started out, he actually played in the middle-order. He has played 14 times at No.4 in IPL.
Winner of Orange Cap three times, Warner has been the most consistent opener in recent IPL history. Compared to others, he has also got a good average and strike rate at this slot.
1) Shikhar Dhawan (Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Matches as an opener: 172 || Runs: 5377 || Average: 35.14
Shikhar Dhawan is at No.1 in this list of players who have scored the most IPL runs as an opener. The second-highest run-getter in the tournament till now, Dhawan has scored most of his runs at the top of the order. Interestingly, he has also played 12 games at No.3 and even two of them at No.7!
In the last few years, very few players have been as consistent as the Delhi cricketer. Almost every season in recent years, Dhawan has got close to 500 runs. Recently, his strike rate has also improved. The southpaw will next play for Punjab Kings from IPL 2022.