On Day 2 of the first test match between England and Pakistan at Lord’s, Alastair Cook scored 81 runs and in doing so, he reached a landmark 9610 runs as a Test opener- a new record. He overcame the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Graeme Smith and many more.
Let us look at the top 5 openers who are leading run scorers in Test Cricket:
5. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag has constructed an extraordinary career with a relentless quest. With minimal footwork but maximum intent, he has piled Test runs at a faster pace than anyone in the history of cricket. Bowlers must always fancy their chances against a batsman who plays so many strokes; it’s just that Sehwag fancies his chances against them much more. On his Test debut, on a fiery pitch in Bloemfontein, he blazed and made a hundred when everyone doubted his ability to survive in Test cricket. But soon he emerged his own man, and not long after Tendulkar was playing a supporting, and somewhat calming hand as Sehwag romped away to a triple-hundred in Multan, the first by an Indian, bringing it up with a six. Two Tests ago, he had been dismissed trying the same stroke five short of what would have been his first Test double-hundred. He is a Test cricket legend in Indian cricket to say the least. He played 104 tests for India and made a whopping 8536 runs with an average of over 49. He smashed 23 hundreds all big, fast and entertaining which also paved way for a new look on how Test cricket could be played. As an opener he made 8207 runs.
His uncomplicated approach – batting is all about scoring as many runs as quickly as possible – belies a sharp and street-smart cricket mind. He has a keen grasp of his own, and his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and exploits them in a forensic manner. What appears risky to many, is merely an opportunity for him. His lack of footwork, which does get him in trouble against the moving ball, is mostly an advantage, for it creates space for his brilliant handwork. Few batsmen have hit the ball harder square on the off side, and fewer still have hit them as frequently. And the sight of a spinner brings the savage out in him; and for many spectacular assaults against the world’s leading spinners, there are numerous outrageous dismissals against the not-so-reputed ones.
The most remarkable aspect of Sehwag’s career of course has been his ability to build massive scores at breathtaking speed. He holds the Indian record for highest number of Test double-hundreds, and came within seven runs of becoming the first batsman to score three triple-hundreds. That innings, against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, epitomised the Sehwag brand of batsmanship; a mix of imagination, daring, power, skills, and clarity of vision.
Engineer. Ardour for Cricket