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Are Prithvi Shaw-David Warner The Perfect T20 Opening Pair?

Prithvi Shaw and David Warner have scored at a run rate of 10.71 together in IPL 2022.

By Sahil Mathur April 22, 2022 • 16:18 PM

Opening in T20 cricket is a simple role - utilize the powerplay restrictions to score the maximum amount of runs possible. It isn't that easy since the new ball moves but the mindset of openers should always be to use that movement to the benefit. 

Generally, teams begin slow and cash on in the subsequent overs, especially the slog overs. However, Delhi Capitals this year have attempted to maximize the powerplay by deploying Prithvi Shaw and David Warner to smack the new ball. 

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Shaw and Warner opening the inning was always going to be an interesting pair to watch as both like to take on early in the inning. Generally, only one of the partners goes for the kill while the other drops anchor. In the case of Shaw and Warner, both go for the kill. 

Warner joined DC from the third game, before that, Shaw and Tim Seifert opened together and scored 38 runs in 28 balls in two innings. Since Warner has joined, DC's run rate in the powerplay has gone up to 10.8. 

In four innings since Warner's arrival, Delhi has scored 258 runs at a loss of one wicket in 24 overs. Only once has Warner-Shaw's stand broken inside the powerplay and that too happened after the duo had smacked 50 runs in 4.4 overs. 

In total, the lefty-righty duo has smashed 293 runs in four innings at an average of 73.25. The duo has scored at a run rate of 10.71 together. 

And it's not like the two take time to start, in the first 10 balls of the inning - Shaw has smashed 101 runs in 57 balls at a strike rate of 177.19 and Warner has scored 67 runs in 40 balls at a rate of 167.50. No other opener has started this well so far this season - the next best first 10 ball scorer is Rohit Sharma, who has made 70 runs in 52 balls. 

Overall in the powerplay, the 22-year-old Shaw has scored 168 runs so far in 98 balls - a strike rate of 171.43 while his 35-year-old partner has scored 104 runs in 63 balls at a strike rate of 165. 

No other opener has scored better than them; the next best is Jos Buttler - 196 runs in 128 balls at a strike rate of 153. Unfortunately, Buttler's partner, Devdutt Padikkal, hasn't been able to catch him in the scoring rate - 59 runs in 54 balls at a strike rate of 109 in the powerplay. 

It is no surprise that Delhi Capitals' powerplay run rate is the highest this season so far - 9.11. They have hit the second most boundaries after Punjab Kings(61) in the powerplay - 58, including 48 fours and 10 sixes. Shaw has scored 24 fours and six sixes while Warner has hit 14 fours and four sixes. 

Jos Buttler has hit the most boundaries in powerplay this season - 34 including 19 fours and 14 sixes. However, since he hasn't got much support from his partner, Rajasthan Royals' powerplay run rate is 7.95. 

Prithvi Shaw and David Warner have displayed that attacking from the first ball isn't a careless thing to do and that is exactly how opening pairs should approach the powerplay since every dot ball is a win for the opposition. On some days, both Shaw and Warner will get out cheaply but on most days, they will be tough for any opposition to stop. 

Also Read: IPL 2022 - Scorecard

"They got off to a very good start right from the first over. Prithvi took on the bowlers. To be honest we were clueless what to do at that point. The wicket was playing really good. They built a good partnership at the start and carried the momentum," Shreyas Iyer said after Shaw-Warner smacked 93 runs in 8.4 overs for the opening wicket vs KKR. 


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