IPL 2019: Rating the openers of the eight teams
Opening combination with the bat is a vital factor in T20 cricket, since good batsmen can lay a strong foundation during power-play.
Here we rate the openers of each team ahead of IPL 2019.
Watson and Rayudu could define CSK's campaign
Last term, Watson and Rayudu showed their experience to make a strong impact.
The CSK openers amassed 1,100-plus runs in IPL 11.
Watson led the way for CSK with a superb century in the finale.
What stood out for the two players is that they were consistent throughout.
This year CSK will depend on their flair and they get a 9/10 rating.
Dhawan and Shaw could be the surprise package this time
Prithvi Shaw entertained the fans with some amazing knocks last season.
He scored 245 runs for Delhi Capitals and the youngster is expected to dictate the proceedings.
The 19-year-old will get a new partner in veteran Shikhar Dhawan.
Dhawan joined DC from Sunrisers Hyderabad. He scored 497 runs in IPL 11.
Their combination gets 8.5/10 as they can be a surprise package this term.
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Rahul and Gayle can power KXIP
Last season, KL Rahul was unstoppable with the bat (659 runs).
The celebrated T20 player got an able support from 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle.
The 39-year-old Gayle enjoyed a good form against England in ODIs and he will be raring to go.
Gayle hit 368 runs in 11 matches last term.
The two are crucial for KXIP's fortunes and get a rating of 8/10.
Lynn and Narine compliment each other well
KKR will be looking to get the best out of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine.
Australia's Lynn had a decent campaign after hitting 491 runs.
Narine had his best season with the bat after notching 357 runs.
The southpaw can attack from the word go. This allows Lynn to play his natural game.
Both understand each other well and get a 8/10 rating.
Surya and Lewis could be entrusted upon by MI
It remains to be seen whether Mumbai Indians stick with Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis as openers this season.
They looked fresh as a pair last season after Suryakumar was promoted up the order.
He scored 514 runs in IPL 11 and Lewis got 382 in 13 matches.
MI have plenty of options to choose from.
This combination gets a rating of 7/10.
RR will pin their hopes on enigmatic Buttler
Rajasthan Royals will aim to get the maximum out of Jos Buttler before he leaves for World Cup.
His promotion as an opener was a masterstroke, although it happened a bit late.
Buttler powered his way with 548 runs. Joining him will be Ajinkya Rahane, who had a poor campaign.
But Rahane has the attributes to shine.
They get a rating of 6.5/10.
SRH will have a new combination this term
David Warner will join SRH post March 29 and Kane Williamson might miss the start due to injury.
The two are expected to be their main openers once they both join the squad.
Till then Jonny Bairstow and Martin Guptill are expected to open.
Once Bairstow and Warner depart for World Cup, Guptill and Kane will take over.
SRH get 5.5/10 given the changes.
Kohli and Parthiv will need to steady RCB
Royal Challengers Bangalore have the weakest opening combination in IPL 2019.
Skipper Virat Kohli will need to promote himself to open the batting with Parthiv Patel.
There is not much depth if any of these two get injured.
Kohli scored 530 runs last season and is a threat.
Parthiv doesn't have that consistency level to go on.
They get a rating of 4.5/10.
Indian Premier League
Indian Premier League 2019
Chennai Super Kings
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Skipper Virat Kohli