IPL 2023: Rating The Opening Pairs Of All 10 Teams

Updated - 09 Jan 2023, 11:49 AM

IPL 2023
IPL 2023 Pic Credits: Twitter

IPL 2023: Rating The Opening Pairs Of All 10 Teams. The IPL 2023 auction was a one-day affair that saw some really high biddings that shattered all previous records. England’s Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, and Australia’s Cameron Green were some of the costliest buys.

Some of the franchises have decided to retain a few overseas players for IPL 2023 who did not get a chance in the last season.

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IPL Auction 2023- Sam Curran Bought By Punjab Kings (PBKS) For 18.50 Crores
IPL Auction 2023- Sam Curran Bought By Punjab Kings (PBKS) For 18.50 Crores

All-rounders raked in the big bucks at the recently held IPL auction 2023, with the 10 franchises going all out to pick the best from the set of players available. Punjab Kings broke the bank and paid INR 18.5 crores to acquire the services of England’s Sam Curran, the most expensive buy in IPL history.

The franchises spent INR 167 Crores to buy 80 players in the bidding arena of the 405 players registered officially. Sunrisers Hyderabad bought the most number of players, having acquired the services of as many as 13 players. The side also had the highest remaining purse heading into the auction with 42.25 Cr. to spend.

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Dawid Malan
Dawid Malan Image Credits: Twitter

Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan were among the unsold players in the IPL auction 2023 that included several Indian stars as well like Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyank Panchal, Varun Aaron, Sandeep Sharma, and Shreyas Gopal to name few.

Openers make or break IPL campaigns. In the IPL 2022 season, each of the top-four teams had at least one of their opening batters in the top-10 run-scorers list. Batting first, a team relies on its openers to get a feel of the pitch and bat accordingly. Again, in the second innings, it’s the role of the first two to make sure the start is good enough to chase down the target.

In 2022, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) struggles emerged from the constant change of their opening combinations. The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) were so dependent on KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock that they failed whenever neither of them scored. Mumbai Indians’ batting just couldn’t get going because their openers struggled.

IPL 2023: Rating The Opening Pairs Of All 10 Teams

1) Delhi Capitals -Prithvi Shaw and David Warner – 10/10

David Warner, Prithvi Shaw
David Warner, Prithvi Shaw. (Photo: IPL)

Delhi Capitals’ (DC) opening combination of David Warner and Prithvi Shaw is immaculate. David Warner is a T20 legend while Prithvi Shaw is one of India’s most promising batters who, for some reason, is being ignored by the national selectors. Thanks to them, the Delhi Capitals recorded the best powerplay strike rate in IPL 2022.

The Australian opener recently scored a double hundred in the Test series against South Africa at home. Prithvi Shaw, on the other hand, scored a chart-topping 332 runs for Mumbai in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at a strike rate of 181.42.

IPL 2023 will probably see David Warner and Prithvi Shaw score the most runs as an opening pair. David Warner amassed 432 runs in IPL 2022 and Prithvi Shaw scored 283 runs in IPL 2022.

2) Rajasthan Royals -Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal-  9/10

Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal
Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal Image Source: Twitter

Jos Buttler, the England limited-overs skipper and IPL 2022 Orange Cap holder for scoring the most runs, and Yashasvi Jaiswal are second on the list by the barest of margins. Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal don’t need to ‘complement’ each other, they are both equally explosive and make the best use of the powerplay every season.

Yashasvi Jaiswal has knocked on the national team’s doors with his 396 runs (average of around 80) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and 266 runs at a strike rate of 141.48 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He also scored a scintillating century for India ‘A’ in the two-Test series against Bangladesh ‘A’.

IPL 2023 will probably see Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal score the most runs as an opening pair.  Jos Buttler was the highest run-getter in IPL 2022 with 863 runs while Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 258 runs. Another option, Devdutt Padikkal scored 376 runs in IPL 2022.

3) Punjab Kings- Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow-8/10

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo: IPL)

After the release of Mayank Agarwal, Punjab Kings (PBKS) will likely settle on new captain Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow as their opening combination. They’ll rely on Jonny Bairstow doing all the aggression in the powerplay while Shikhar Dhawan takes his time.

IPL 2023 will probably see Jonny Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan score the most runs as an opening pair. Shikhar Dhawan amassed 460 runs in IPL 2022 while Jonny Bairstow amassed 253 runs.

4) SunRisers Hyderabad- Mayank Agarwal And Abhishek Sharma-7/10

Abhishek Sharma. Photo-IPL
Abhishek Sharma. Photo-IPL

SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be one of the few teams with a new opening combination this year. Mayank Agarwal will likely join hands with Abhishek Sharma at the top of the order.

Mayank Agarwal had scored only 196 runs in IPL 2022 resulting in his axe from Punjab Kings while Abhishek Sharma had scored 426 runs in IPL 2022 for SunRisers Hyderabad.

5) Lucknow Super Giants – KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock-6/10

Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul.Photo-IPL
Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul.Photo-IPL

The biggest issue with Lucknow Super Giants openers KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock is that although they are excellent against pace, they don’t have a similar impact against spin. KL Rahul was the 2nd highest run-getter after Jos Buttler with 616 runs in IPL 2022 and was followed by 3rd placed Quinton de Kock who had scored 508 runs in IPL 2022.

6) Chennai Super Kings-Ben Stokes, Ruturaj Gaikwad- 5/10

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway. (Photo: IPL)

Another new pairing, Ben Stokes and Ruturaj Gaikwad will also be intriguing to watch in action for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2023. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in jaw-dropping form in domestic tournaments and has also been in and around the Indian team.

The Chennai Super Kings will thus need Ben Stokes to be aggressive. The left-handed Englishman cost them a lot of money at the IPL 2023 auction. He has good numbers as an opener, including a 60-ball 107*, but doesn’t play regularly in that position for his national team.

Devon Conway, who scored 252 runs in IPL 2022 is another backup opener for Chennai Super Kings. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 368 runs in IPL 2022 while Ben Stokes had opted out of IPL 2022 and played only 1 IPL 2021 game for Rajasthan after which he was injured.

7) Gujarat Titans- Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha- 4/10

Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill
Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill. (Photo: IPL)

Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) sorted out some positions at the IPL 2023 auction. However, they’ve shown trust in the young-and-veteran pairing of Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha to do the job for them at the top of the order.

Shubman Gill was brilliant in 2022, scoring 483 runs at a strike rate of 132.33 and Wriddhiman Saha backed him up with 317 runs in 11 matches in IPL 2022. Matthew Wade is another option for the opening slot of Gujarat in IPL 2023.

8) Royal Challengers Bangalore- Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis- 3/10

Faf Du Plessis and Virat Kohli for RCB. PHoto- BCCI
Faf Du Plessis and Virat Kohli for RCB. Photo- BCCI

Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis have been top-drawer match-winners for their national teams. However, batting together as openers doesn’t bring the best out of them for their team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

They didn’t sign an opener in the IPL 2023 auction, which means Virat Kohli is likely to continue at the top of the order. While Virat Kohli scored 341 runs in IPL 2022, skipper Faf du Plessis scored 468 runs in IPL 2022.

9) Mumbai Indians- Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan- 2/10

Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan
Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan Image Source: Twitter

There isn’t much to separate Mumbai Indians’ (MI) Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan from the above two. They have a similar problem against spin, but together they are slightly slower in the powerplay. They have a star-studded middle order but that’ll also need at least some support from the top.

Ishan Kishan recently scored an ODI double ton against Bangladesh but he isn’t as established in T20Is. His 418 runs at a strike rate of 120 didn’t justify his price tag of INR 15.25 crore either. Skipper Rohit Sharma scored 268 runs only in IPL 2022. Cameron Green is another option to open for MI in IPL 2023.

10) Kolkata Knight Riders- Venkatesh Iyer, Rahmanullah Gurbaz-1/10

Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer (Image: Twitter)

It could well be that the Kolkata Knight Riders will surprise everyone and lift the team to some big wins. But at this stage, they don’t have many fans going for them in IPL 2023 as while most of the teams have 25 players, they have signed only 22 players including Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Das who won’t be available for the entire IPL 2023.

Both Venkatesh Iyer, 28, and Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 21, have less experience in opening the innings than most of the others mentioned in this list. Venkatesh Iyer constantly shifted up and down the order in IPL 2022, hindering his form. Rahmanullah Gurbaz hasn’t even played in the IPL yet. Narayan Jagadeesan, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, and Sunil Narine are other backup options for the opening slot for KKR in IPL 2023.

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