T20 is a format in which the opening batters play a crucial role in posting a competitive total. An opener, batter has the chance to play through the innings by facing more deliveries. The start that the openers get in the initial overs set the tone of the innings and a platform for the batters to come and play freely. There are certain tactics that the teams apply for a good opening partnership like sending a pinch hitter or an unorthodox batter right at the top to upset the opposition and change the momentum towards the batting side. IPL is a competition where many of the greats have relished their opportunities to create history with the bat. This article covers the top five highest partnerships among batters in the history of the entire IPL. Interestingly, all the five innings came to life during the opening partnership only. On their day, the opening batters were able to take the game away from the opposition and score big runs.
1.Jonny Bairstow and David Warner – 185 runs
Who would have thought that the players of arch rivals Australia and England would hug each other after scoring centuries for the same team. Sunrisers Hyderabad became top order heavy after the inclusion of the hard hitting opening batter Johnny Bairstow. The opening pair of Bairstow and Warner batted like a dream for the Sunrisers especially in IPL 2019 where they both smashed centuries against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bairstow scored 114 runs from 56 balls and Warner scored 100 runs from 55 balls. This became the highest ever partnership registered in the history of IPL, that too for the first wicket where they managed to post 185 runs together. Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 231/2 and won the match by 118 runs.
2.Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn – 184 runs
The opening pair of Kolkata Knight Riders became electric when the management gave the Aussie basher Chris Lynn to open alongside veteran Gautam Gambhir. This resulted in consistent opening partnerships at a great pace. Chris Lynn is a dangerous batter who could clear the ropes at will. The second highest opening partnership in the IPL is in the name of the KKR openers when they chased down a total of 184 against Gujrat Lions with 31 balls remaining. Gujrat Lions with the help of Suresh Raina’s 68 off 51 balls posted a total of 184/4 in the end. This innings came in the 2017 season and it was Chris Lynn’s night as he scored 93 from 41 balls. Gambhir supported him with 76 runs in 48 balls and the 184 run stand helped them win the match by 10 wickets.
3.KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – 183 runs
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are good mates on and off the field. They have a very good understanding of each other because they both are from the same state of Karnataka and grew up playing cricket together. This camaraderie is highly reflected in their performance and partnerships in the IPL as well. Playing for the Punjab Kings, the opening partnership of Mayank and Rahul has produced many memorable innings together.They have a record of having 100 run partnerships five times in the IPL. One such innings came against the Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah which is remembered for the great Tewatia turnaround. In that match Punjab KIngs openers posted a total of 223/2 which included a partnership of 183 with Mayank scoring 106 from 50 balls and Rahul scoring 69 off 54 balls.
4.Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis – 181 runs
CSK is a team that always backs their players no matter how bad they perform. Shane Watson is one such player who was backed by the management evena after an array of failures. But, eventually the Aussie legend paid them back with a match winning innings in the 2020 season. Chasing a total of 179 posted by Punjab, Shane Watson won the man of the match award for helping his team win the match by 10 wickets and building a partnership with Du Plessis of 181 runs for the opening wicket. Watson scored 83 off 53 balls and Du Plessis scored 87 runs. Du Plessis has been so consistent for CSK throughout these years and this batting duo was destructive at the top and was one of the best in the history of IPL.
5.Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal – 181* runs
After the departure of Chris Gayle, the Bangalore management tried many other players at the top to give them a head start. But, all of them have failed and the young prospect Devdutt Padikkal who was introduced into the slot has done a wonderful job of giving good company to Virat Kohli. The fifth highest partnership of IPL history came in the 2021 season against the Rajasthan Royals when the opening batters comfortably chased down the total of 178 runs with 10 wickets remaining. Devdutt Padikkal scored his maiden century in IPL by smashing 101 from 52 balls that included 11 four and 6 sixes. Virat gave him great support by scoring 72 runs from 47 balls which included 6 fours and 3 sixes.
|Jonny Bairstow and David Warner||185||RCB||2019|
|Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn||184*||GL||2017|
|KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal||183||RR||2020|
|Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis||181*||KXIP||2020|
|Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal||181*||RR||2021|