How Gambhir-Sehwag match up against great pairs

Updated: 31 October 2012 12:50 IST

Gautam Gambhir's recent remark "We still average 53 as an opening pair, which I think is one of the best when it comes to opening the batting in world cricket," is not far from truth.

How Gambhir-Sehwag match up against great pairs

Gautam Gambhir's recent remark "We still average 53 as an opening pair, which I think is one of the best when it comes to opening the batting in world cricket," is not far from truth.  Gambhir and Virender Sehwag's partnership average of 52.69 is not only the fifth highest in Test cricket history among openers involved in 50 or more innings, but also the best among contemporary opening pairs.  The next best are Englishmen Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, who average just 40.96 runs per innings. Therefore, Gambhir was rightly indignant because the pair's current form was questioned.

Moreover, their partnership aggregate of 4110 runs is the fifth highest among all Test openers and among current openers, only Cook and Stauss better their aggregate by 611 runs.  Table 1 lists the top openers in Test cricket history with partnership averages of 50-plus after playing together in at least 50 innings.  Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson, the Australian openers, take the top position with an average of 60.94, followed by Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook, the English duo, with 60.00. Hershelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith of South Africa and Chetan Chauhan and Sunil Gavaskar lie ahead of Gambhir and Sehwag. Table 2 has openers with the highest partnership aggregates in Test cricket history. Here, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, the West Indians, are on top of the elite list with 6482 runs.

Table 1

Test openers with best partnership averages

(Qualification: 50 or more innings as openers)

Pair Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
WM Lawry/RB Simpson (Aus) 1961-1968 62 03 3596 382 60.94 09 18
L Hutton/C Washbrook (Eng) 1946-1951 51 03 2880 359 60.00 08 13
HH Gibbs/GC Smith (SA) 2002-2008 56 03 2983 368 56.28 07 10
CPS Chauhan/SM Gavaskar (Ind) 1973-1981 59 03 3010 213 53.75 10 10
G Gambhir/V Sehwag (Ind) 2004-2012 81 03 4110 233 52.69 10 24
AJ Strauss/ME Trescothick (Eng) 2004-2006 52 01 2670 273 52.35 08 12
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2007 113 04 5655 255 51.88 14 24
MJ Slater/MA Taylor (Aus) 1993-1999 78 02 3887 260 51.14 10 16

 

Table 2

Test openers with highest partnership aggregates

Pair Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
CG Greenidge/DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1991 148 11 6482 298 47.31 16 26
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2007 113 04 5655 255 51.88 14 24
AN Cook/AJ Strauss (Eng) 2006-2012 117 02 4711 229 40.96 12 18
MS Atapattu/ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1997-2007 118 07 4469 335 40.26 09 24
G Gambhir/V Sehwag (Ind) 2004-2012 81 03 4110 233 52.69 10 24
MJ Slater/MA Taylor (Aus) 1993-1999 78 02 3887 260 51.14 10 16
WM Lawry/RB Simpson (Aus) 1961-1968 62 03 3596 382 60.94 09 18
JB Hobbs/H Sutcliffe (Eng) 1924-1930 38 01 3249 283 87.81 15 10
CPS Chauhan/SM Gavaskar (Ind) 1973-1981 59 03 3010 213 53.75 10 10

 

The Gambhir-Sehwag combination is the best among Test openers in contemporary cricket in home conditions. They average a high 60.59 in India. Only two other pairs in Test history, Greenidge and Haynes (65.44) and Mike Atherton and Graham Gooch (63.66) of England, have better averages while opening at home. The Indian pair's seven 100-plus stands at home are only bettered by Greenidge-Haynes (10), Jack Hobbs-Herbert Sutcliffe of England (9) and Matthew Hayden-Justin Langer of Australia (9). Tables 3 to 6 have details of how Test openers have fared both in aggregates and averages at home and away.

Table 3

Test openers with best partnership averages at home

(Qualification: 25 or more innings as openers)

Pair Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
CG Greenidge/DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1991 63 09 3534 298 65.44 10 14
MA Atherton/GA Gooch (Eng) 1990-1994 30 00 1910 225 63.66 06 09
G Gambhir/V Sehwag (India) 2004-2012 45 01 2666 233 60.59 07 16
L Hutton/C Washbrook (Eng) 1946-1950 26 03 1368 168 59.47 04 06
WM Lawry/RB Simpson (Aus) 1962-1968 27 00 1604 244 59.40 04 08
HH Gibbs/GC Smith (SA) 2002-2008 29 03 1529 368 58.80 03 05
MJ Slater/MA Taylor (Aus) 1993-1999 39 01 2193 228 57.71 07 09
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2007 61 02 3308 255 56.06 09 12
Mohsin Khan/Mudassar Nazar (Pak) 1982-1986 27 02 1384 157 55.36 03 10
AJ Strauss/ME Trescothick (Eng) 2004-2006 38 01 2039 190 55.10 06 11
CPS Chauhan/SM Gavaskar (Ind) 1973-1980 28 02 1402 192 53.92 05 05

 

Table 4

Test openers with highest partnership aggregates at home

Pair Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
CG Greenidge/DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1991 63 09 3534 298 65.44 10 14
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2007 61 02 3308 255 56.06 09 12
G Gambhir/V Sehwag (Ind) 2004-2012 45 01 2666 233 60.59 07 16
MS Atapattu/ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1997-2005 68 04 2629 335 41.07 05 14
AN Cook/AJ Strauss (Eng) 2007-2012 66 01 2524 196 38.83 05 12
MJ Slater/MA Taylor (Aus) 1993-1999 39 01 2193 228 57.71 07 09
JB Hobbs/H Sutcliffe (Eng) 1924-1930 23 01 2047 268 93.04 09 08
AJ Strauss/ME Trescothick (Eng) 2004-2006 38 01 2039 190 55.10 06 11

 

Table 5

Test openers with best partnership averages overseas

(Qualification: 25 or more innings as openers)

Partners Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
JB Hobbs/W Rhodes (Eng) 1910-1921 28 01 1809 323 67 06 05
WM Lawry/RB Simpson (Aus) 1961-1967 35 03 1992 382 62.25 05 10
L Hutton/C Washbrook (Eng) 1946-1951 25 0 1512 359 60.48 04 07
HH Gibbs/GC Smith (SA) 2003-2007 27 0 1454 338 53.85 04 05
CPS Chauhan/SM Gavaskar (Ind) 1977-1981 31 01 1608 213 53.6 05 05
HH Gibbs/G Kirsten (SA) 1996-2002 26 0 1313 256 50.5 03 07
G Boycott/GA Gooch (Eng) 1978-1982 26 02 1130 144 47.08 03 07
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2006 52 02 2347 242 46.94 05 12
D Ganga/CH Gayle (WI) 2001-2008 37 02 1609 214 45.97 04 06

 

Table 6

Test openers with highest partnership aggregates overseas

(Qualification: 25 or more innings as openers)

Pair Period Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
CG Greenidge/DL Haynes (WI) 1979-1990 85 02 2948 225 35.51 06 12
ML Hayden/JL Langer (Aus) 2001-2006 52 02 2347 242 46.94 05 12
AN Cook/AJ Strauss (Eng) 2006-2012 51 01 2187 229 43.74 07 06
WM Lawry/RB Simpson (Aus) 1961-1967 35 03 1992 382 62.25 05 10
MS Atapattu/ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1997-2007 50 03 1840 281 39.14 04 10
JB Hobbs/W Rhodes (Eng) 1910-1921 28 01 1809 323 67.00 06 05
MJ Slater/MA Taylor (Aus) 1993-1998 39 01 1694 260 44.57 03 07
D Ganga/CH Gayle (WI) 2001-2008 37 02 1609 214 45.97 04 06
CPS Chauhan/SM Gavaskar (Ind) 1977-1981 31 01 1608 213 53.60 05 05
L Hutton/C Washbrook (Eng) 1946-1951 25 0 1512 359 60.48 04 07

 

The table below charts how the partnership of Gambhir and Sehwag has performed as openers during each calendar year since they opened together for the first time against Australia at Mumbai on November 3, 2004. It wasn't an auspicious start as the pair had a dismal time while putting on 11 and 5 respectively. However, the bright side was that India won the match by 13 runs. Their best period came from 2008 to 2010, when they put on 2503 runs in 42 innings while averaging 62.57, with 8 100-plus stands (interestingly, during the same period Sehwag and Murali Vijay had aggregated 798 runs, averaging 79.80, with three 100-plus stands).

Table 7

The Gambhir-Sehwag performance as an opening pair in each calendar year/home-away/result wise

Year Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
2004 07 00 299 218 42.71 01 0
2005 12 01 703 113 63.9 01 06
2006 - - - - - - -
2007 - - - - - - -
2008 16 00 972 182 60.75 03 05
2009 08 00 530 233 66.25 01 20
2010 18 02 1001 160 62.56 04 60
2011 11 00 388 89 35.27 0 04
2012 09 00 217 77 24.11 0 01
Venue Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
home 45 01 2666 233 60.59 07 16
away 36 02 1444 167 42.47 03 08
Result Inns NO Runs HP Ave 100 50
Won 35 02 2178 233 66.00 06 13
Lost 22 00 667 137 30.31 01 04
Drawn 24 01 1265 218 55.00 03 07
Total 81 03 4110 233 52.69 10 24
Topics : Cricket Andrew Strauss England in India 2012 Gautam Gambhir Virender Sehwag
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