|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
One of the most feared opening combinations and three other aggressive opening batsmen make up this enviable list
June 14, 2010
In the early days of West Indies cricket, good opening batsmen were few and far between. In fact, as it was in the middle order, in those days there was one and only one man.
His name was Clifford Roach, he was a Trinidadian, he was a right-hander, and apart from scoring West Indies' first half-century, in their second Test - 50 at Old Trafford in 1928 - he ended up scoring six half-centuries in 16 Test matches, including the first century and the first double-century by a West Indian.
However, after the watershed series of 1950, when the West Indies won away from home for the first time with a 3-1 victory over England, things changed immensely, to the point where the pioneer is not numbered among the top West Indies openers off all time.
In that memorable series of 1950, West Indies produced a pair of openers: the stylish and attractive Jeffrey Stollmeyer and the solid, defensive left-hander Allan Rae. Unfortunately, however, like Roach neither one was considered good enough to make it to this list.
And although it is not as rich as those who batted in the middle order, what a list it is.
Starting with Conrad Hunte, the line-up from which the greatest pair of West Indies openers of all time will be selected includes undoubtedly the best opening partnership in the history of West Indies cricket, and also undoubtedly one of the best in the history of Test cricket: "Greenidge and Haynes" is almost synonymous with facing the new ball.
Individually all five contenders were master batsmen; four of them leading the way: one in the late 1960s, when West Indies were arguably the best in the world, and three others between 1976 and 1995, when the team were champions of the world.
We'll be publishing an all-time West Indies XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your openers click here
Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 yearsFeeds: Tony Becca
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Half a decade since his ban ended, Maurice Odumbe continues to live with the stigma of corruption. By Tim Wigmore
Numbers Game: Only five Pakistanis have scored 15-plus hundreds, but his appetite for tons matches that of the best
Netherlands' batting mainstay Tom Cooper dreams of playing for Australia, his country of birth. By Peter Miller
Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Adam Gilchrist's adaptability
Scott Oliver: Understanding the historical trends in decision-making might help you deal with your own iffy calls. Or maybe not
The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years
The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
The WICB statement should cool down emotions and allow all parties involved to take the next step forward
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday