When the team is batting first or second, the openers play a substantial role in uplifting the scoreboard by scoring runs at a rate of knots. By doing so, the team gets into the comfort zone quickly straightaway, which also motivates them to either post a good total or chase down any colossal total on the board. At times, we have seen openers getting dismissed for cheap scores.
In that case, the responsibility lies on the non-openers to showcase their mettle and add flesh to the scoreboard. When a non-opener plays in a format like One-Day Internationals, he has plenty of time to assess the conditions before going about his business. In this listicle, let’s take a glimpse at the four openers who registered the highest score for a non-opener in the 50-over format.
1. Glenn Maxwell
Australian all-rounder, Glenn Maxwell battled a hamstring injury and back spasms and scored an impeccable double century against the Afghanistan cricket team in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, which is undoubtedly the best-ever innings played by a cricketer in the history of One-Day Internationals. Maxwell scored an unbeaten 201* including 21 fours and 10 sixes at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which helped Australia ace the run-chase in the best way possible. This is also the highest-ever individual score by a batsman in the run-chase and the highest score registered by a non-opener in ODIs.
2. Charles Coventry
Former Zimbabwe cricketer Charles Coventry once held the record for essaying the highest-ever score in ODIs before it was broken by Glenn Maxwell in the ICC ODI World Cup. Charles Coventry scored an unbeaten 194* against the Bangladesh cricket team at Bulawayo in 2009. He smacked 16 fours and 7 sixes during his stay at the crease but unfortunately, his knock came at a losing cause as Bangladesh chased down 313 in 47.5 overs.
3. Sir Vivian Richards
Sir Vivian Richards is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is known for his aggressive and flamboyant batting approach, which helped him become a force to be reckoned with in international cricket and was literally unstoppable when he went about his work. He registered the highest score as a non-opener against England in Manchester in 1984 wherein he scored an unbeaten 189*.
4. Faf du Plessis
South African international Faf du Plessis is considered one of the most experienced and smart batters in international cricket. The right-handed batsman is best known for his acumen to assess the conditions before launching a counter-attack on the opposition. He registered the fourth-highest score as a non-opener in One-Day Internationals as he chipped in with 185 against Sri Lanka in Cape Town in 2017.