This post tries to RANK top Eight openers who the bowlers preferred to keep at non-strikers'end. These, Sir, are players who can change the game on their day. I am not talking of the textbook openers like Gavaskar, I am dealing with the men who avenged with thunder. Here is my countdown to the most threatening openers the game has seen. Sit back8) Brendon McCullum
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Electrifying, exciting and brutal opener who dispatches the ball for boundaries all over the park. His IPL knock for Kolkata (153) stands still undefeated till date. Only drawback of his has been inconsistency. He makes the list edging out Saurav Ganguly and Kaluwitharana, and holds number 8 spot.
Strike Rate: 89
7) Tilakratne Dilshan
The chips and the scoops are not something you relate with an opener. But, Dilshan, an attacking opening choice for Sri-Lanka is 'cheeky' and always love to manufacture shots.. The 57-ball 96 in T20 world cup 2009 was an example of what damage he can do, if let loose. He is at number seven in the ranking.
Strike Rate: 86
Average: 356) Herschelle Gibbs
There are some players who have oodles of talent but are not consistent. The most destructive batsman on his day, Gibbs was a batsman who could take the game away at any moment. His 175 against australia will remain etched in cricket lovers' memory forever. Morover, his fielding prowess was top-class, matching Rhodes. Had he been consistent, he would have been leading these rankings. Period.
Strike Rate: 83
5) Virender Sehwag
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The Jaat from Delhi can run away with the match before you know. The cuts, the drives race to the fence in seconds. Only thing being, he has been a better Test opener in consistency.
Strike Rate: 104
Average: 354) Sachin Tendulkar
There are two Sachin that may turn up. One loves been the anchor and stays around. He is not our concern here. We are dealing with the Sachin who bludgeons the attacks with his text book shots. The name needs no justification. He is right up in top four as the most feared openers.
Strike Rate: 86
Average: 443) Chris Gayle
Casually aggressive, the towering sixes could force a fielding captain to tear his hair out. The tall robust man is no less than any man here on his day. The only thing that he lacked was consistency: which he acquired later in the career. He makes it to the top three in this list.
Str rate: 84
Average: 392) Matthew Hayden
He has comeback twice in the great Oz line-up and turned only more destructive. He is one batsman who had no way of getting out. He stood out of his crease and let the power do the rest. Personally, I felt this was the most difficult wicket Indians had to take. He simply didn't give in
Strike Rate: 78
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If there was any player who ran away with the game, with pulls and hooks that shattered the opposition- it was Gilly. He had this ability to hit big ones early in the match. With Hayden, he easily formed most destructive opening pair ever in ODIs. As a young cricket fan, I remember the fear on the face of bowlers when Gilly took strike. Unmatched till date.I rate him the best in this coveted list.
Strike Rate: 96
Who missed out : Saurav Ganguly, Alastair Cook, Saaed Anwar, Gary Kirsten, Graeme Smith, Fleming, Mark Waugh, Kaluwitharana and Strauss. ( These have been classy openers but not destructive)
PS: I haven't seen cricketers of pre-90s era. So, Can't evaluate them.