The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is all set to begin on March 31, with defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) facing Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the opening match of the marquee event at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Notably, this will be the 16th edition of the world’s richest cricket league, and a total of ten teams will compete in the tournament.

Ahead of the IPL 2023, Suresh Raina, one of the league’s most successful players and often acknowledged as ‘Mr IPL’, picked two openers for the IPL ALL-Time XI. While making a choice, the former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star snubbed the likes of David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who are among the top leading run scorers of the tournament.

Raina opted for an explosive opening duo featuring Chris Gayle and Virender Sehwag and also shed light on the reason behind it. The 36-year-old Uttar Pradesh batter stated that if one wants to make runs in the powerplay, then there is no better opening combination than Gayle and Sehwag.

“For me, Chris Gayle, and Virender Sehwag. David Warner has done well, but for the impact that is needed in the IPL, I don’t think anybody can do it better than Gayle and Sehwag. Over the years we have seen how they have performed, and if you want to make runs in the first six overs, then there’s no one better than these two,” said Raina in a show on Jio Cinema.

Many former Indian players, including Robin Uthappa, Parthiv Patel, Pragyan Ojha, RP Singh, and Aakash Chopra, were also present during the show, and they picked their choice of openers as well. While Ojha retained Sehwag as his opener, he picked Warner instead of Gayle, whereas Uthappa and Parthiv picked Kohli over Sehwag as Gayle’s partner.

Talking about Sehwag and Gayle’s performance in the IPL, the India veteran has amassed 2728 runs in the IPL, while the latter scored 4965 runs in the cash-rich league.

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