These cricketers shined as openers rather than in middle order
Every cricketer likes to bat at a specific batting position in his/her desired batting order. While few gain success as openers, few are comfortable batting in the top order or middle order. However, some cricketers tend to shuffle their order for a shot at success. On the same note, we take a look at cricketers who shined as openers, rather than in middle order.
Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya was known to be an explosive opener, especially in the limited-overs. However, he had begun his career as a middle order batsman in Tests, where he managed to score 1,041 runs in 36 innings at 33.58. Interestingly, he was brutal as an opener in the format, scoring 5,932 runs at a fine average of 41.48 in 152 innings.
Following Jayasuriya's success, another Sri Lankan in the form of Tillakaratne Dilshan decided to try out himself as an opener. In the middle, he had scored 3,211 runs in 89 innings at an average of 40.13, as he remained inconsistent in the side. However, upon promoting himself as an opener, he scored 2,170 runs at an average of 42.54 in 53 innings.
Australia's Simon Katich too found himself in a similar frame after a failed middle order stint. Batting in middle order, he scored 1,001 runs in 33 innings at an average of 32.29, as he was ousted from the team in 2005. However, upon return, he was promoted as an opener, where he scored 2,928 runs in 61 innings at a huge average of 50.48.
Current Indian coach Ravi Shastri too did not have a good stint as a middle order batsman initially, having scored 2,314 runs in 75 innings at an average of 34.53. However, he improved his average upon being promoted as an opener, scoring 1,101 runs in 26 innings at a sound average of 44.04. Notably, he batted in the 10th spot in his debut Test.
Virender Sehwag scored a century in his debut Test, batting at number six. However, he did struggle to get himself going, batting in the middle-order, scoring just 374 runs in nine innings at an average of 41.55. Nonetheless, owing to his attacking approach, he was promoted as an opener, where he shattered records, scoring 8,207 in 170 innings at an explosive average of 50.04.