Weird opening pairs
In a T20 innings, how you start is very crucial, because there are only 20 overs to play unlike the older formats of the game, so you cannot take your time to settle as a batsman. So the responsibility of getting a quick, good start with about 40-45 runs in the first 6 overs if the team has intentions of reaching the score they want in good time. Also the batsmen to come will play based on the observations of the other team’s bowling and the pitch made by the openers. However, not just anybody can be an opening batsman. You have to be able to face the swing of the new ball, then you either should be able to find the boundary regularly or be able to anchor the innings by playing the opponent’s bowling comfortably while taking singles regularly. In the DLF IPL, which is a T20 contest, it is easier to be an opener because you won’t have to face as many overs. Due to this captains like to experiment people at the top of the order. The Royal Challengers Bangalore have the record for trying the most opening pairs (11) in 2008 (and one of them was Dravid and Praveen Kumar). Here are some strange opening pairs used in IPL 2012:
Ambati Rayudu and Richard Levi: When Sachin Tendulkar was injured his finger facing a bouncer from Doug Bollinger in the IPL opener, he was forced to leave the field. In the next game vs Pune, Rayudu came to open with Levi, the regular opener. This combination failed miserably as MI slumped to 101 all out chasing a paltry 129 set by PWI.
Andrew McDonald and Cheteshwar Pujara: By far the wierdest of the 3. In their opener vs Delhi, RCB were missing Chris Gayle, who was suffering a groin injury, and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was finishing a test match in England. With neither of the two being regular openers in the IPL format, many eyebrows were raised as they walked out to the middle. Though Pujara departed for 11, McDonald seemed to want to give a message to his former team, as he blitzed 30 in just 19 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes before falling to Morne Morkel in the 19th ball. RCB went on to win the game by 20 runs
Subramaniam Badrinath and Francios du Plessis: The most successful out of the 3. Faf du Plessis had been opening since the first game because of Micheal Hussey’s absence, and Badri went to open because of Murali Vijay’s bad form. They walked out to bat vs PWI, and they each put up a 50 to take CSK to a sturdy total of 164-5. CSK went on to win the game by 13 runs.