In cricket, be it the shortest form of the game, T20, or the purest form, Test cricket, partnerships are extremely important for batting teams, especially opening partnerships. A good partnership at the top not only helps a team get a head start initially but also establishes a solid platform for latter batsmen to launch from. While an individual performance may propel the team to a couple of victories, to win the big, high-pressure games, partnerships are very crucial.
Over the years, the IPL has witnessed some stunning opening partnerships, and have already seen some record-breaking ones this year. Let us have a look at the Top 5 highest opening partnerships in IPL history
5. Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan (RCB) – 167
April 23rd, 2013 is a day which neither Chris Gayle will ever forget, nor the bowlers of Pune Warriors India. Chris Gayle was at his absolute, stunning best as he shattered all records and scored 175* off just 66 balls, the highest score ever In T20 cricket. Over after over, bowler after bowler, Chris Gayle kept thumping all of them over the ropes. Dilshan, on the other hand, who had the best view in the park to witness Gayle’s mastery played circumspectly and tried to hand over the strike to Gayle as much as possible. In that attempt, he did slow down a bit and ended up scoring a 36-ball 33. Despite that, the two put on 167 runs in 13.4 overs together and RCB ended up with 263. Deflated, PWI couldn’t turn up with the bat and lost the game by a mammoth 130 runs.
4. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis (CSK) – 181*
Chennai Super Kings’ experienced openers made up for the disappointing start to their season by putting on a show of class batsmanship against Kings XI Punjab. Batting first, KXIP put on 178 and would have considered it to be a good total, considering the fact that CSK batsmen were completely out of touch. However, it was their unlucky day as they had to face a rampaging Shane Watson. In Faf du Plessis’ company, Watson seemed to have regained his mojo and was at his aggressive best as he raced away to an unbeaten 83. Faf, who had been the only in-form player for CSK up till then, didn’t miss out either, scoring an unbeaten 87 himself. The KXIP bowlers were absolutely butchered and everyone got to witness some fine strokes by the veterans.
3. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (KXIP) – 183
Perhaps the most impactful partnership this year, Kings XI Punjab’s openers, K.L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have had a dream start to the season. Both of them are in the top 3 of the highest run-getters this season and have played some super innings. Against Rajasthan Royals, they were at their absolute best. Both the batsmen took advantage of the short boundaries and wreaked havoc on the hapless Rajasthan Royals bowlers. The batsmen put on 183 together in 16.3 overs, with Rahul helping himself to a 54-ball 69 and Mayank amassing a glorious ton. Despite their efforts, which helped KXIP put on 223 on the board, they ended up on the losing side as Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia’s heroics helped Rajasthan pull off a historic chase.
2. Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir (KKR) – 184
Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir, two players as different as chalk and cheese, produced a batting masterclass as they ran amok against Gujarat Lions in 2017. Batting first, a strong GL line up posted 183 on the board in Rajkot, and it was expected to be a difficult chase. But the opening duo made an absolute mockery of the mammoth target. They smashed the ball to all parts of the ground and were able to accomplish the chase in just 14.5 overs. Lynn finished with a devastating 93* off just 41 balls, while Gambhir remained unbeaten on 76.
1. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow (SRH) – 185
The most destructive opening partnership since 2019 has been that of an Australian and Englishman. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have gotten along like a house on fire and demolished bowling line ups for fun.In 2019, RCB had to suffer the wrath of both of them together. Electing to bowl, RCB suffered blow after blow as both the batsmen attacked with all their might. They didn’t spare any bowler and went on a rampage hardly seen before. They had a massive partnership of 185 in a mere 16.2 overs. Both the batsmen reached their tons which helped SRH to a score of 231, which was 118 runs too much for RCB. It was a thrashing of the highest order.