Role of middle-order batsmen in ODIs | Expert POV


Among the three types of batting order that a cricket team is made up of, the role of middle-order batsmen in ODIs is the most demanding as their execution on the pitch pretty much decides the outcome of a match on most occasions.

To further make things complicated, a middle-order batsman’s heroics often go uncelebrated, as they hardly get a chance to score tons or create records. However, those often end up being remembered as match-winners, a moniker very few great batsmen of the game can boast of. In ODI World Cup betting, they may be crucial.

So, what is the role of middle-order batsmen in ODIs and what qualities qualify a batsman to take up the onus in that position? Let’s find out. With a user-friendly interface, ฟัน88 ensures seamless navigation, providing an immersive and satisfying gaming experience for players of all levels of expertise.

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 A middle-order batsman must be an orchestrator

A middle-order batting line-up consists of batters that come to bat between number four and seven. It is, hence, quite conclusive from their position that most middle-order batsmen don’t have predetermined responsibilities.

While the top-order batsmen are tasked with either seeing off the new ball or go all gung-ho to exploit the fielding restriction, and the lower-order batsmen are given the given the responsibility of ending the innings with a bang, the middle-order batsmen have to act according to the situation they walk in.

Quick wickets falling at the top of the order would require the middle-order to take it slow and initiate and, at most times, complete a rebuild before handing over the innings to the hard-hitters. Similarly, a strong, opening  partnership would demand the middle-order to accelerate their scoring and end the innings on a high.

This is why middle-order batsmen need to be great orchestrators as well as leaders, given they would need to make quick and hard decisions on-field.

Aravinda de Silva – 1996 World Cup final hero

A prime example of an orchestrator would be Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning hero Aravinda de Silva. Facing a star-studded Australia side during that WC finale, Sri Lanka had to chase a paltry score of 242 runs in 50 overs. However, things got tricky real fast as in-from openers Sanath Jayasuirya and Romesh Kaluwitharana were dismissed for just 23 runs.

The situation demanded a slow rebuild and in came veteran Aravinda de Silva, who first went on form a 125-run stand with Asanka Gurusinha and then another 97-run stand with skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. De Silva would remain unbeaten at 107 runs, playing almost 120 minutes to win the World Cup final for Sri Lanka.

A middle-order batsman should play pace and spin equally well

It is a no-brainer that by the time a  middle-order batsman arrives, the ball has become old and pacers have become tired from their initial burst of pace. Hence, the fielding team skipper would keep shuffling between his spinners and pacers to stop batsmen from getting into the rhythm.

While a soft, old ball is an advantage, seeing off pacers and spinners with equal efficacy requires one to have terrific skills and experience. A prime example of that would be MS Dhoni during India’s 2011 World Cup final. The then-underperforming batsman would promote himself above a free-scoring Yuvrag Singh to make a crucial partnership alongside Gautam Gambhir.

MS Dhoni wins it for India in 2011 World Cup final

Prior to Dhoni’s unbeaten 91-run knock that won India the 2011 WC final, the skipper had tallied just 150 runs in seven innings. However, with spinners Muthiah Muralidaran and Tilakaratne Dilshan and pacers Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara bowling Sri Lanka’s crucial middle overs, Dhoni knew his strengths could be best used at that time.

Dhoni kept rotating the strike and hitting boundaries at the slightest of opportunities to forge a 109-run partnership with Gambhir before a conclusive 54-run stand with Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni’s 79-ball-91 is an education for aspiring batsmen on how to bat in the middle-order.

A middle-order batsman should know how to finish

With orchestrating the game and fending off challenges in the middle-overs successfully done, a middle-order batsman should know how to finish off a match. If De Silva and MS Dhoni were examples of batting positions 4 and 5, then it is the batsmen coming at 6 and 7 that play the crucial role of a finisher.

While Dhoni has been pivotal in that role for India on numerous occasions, most fondly remembered in the 2013 Champions Trophy, a modern player who has made that role his own is England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes. Though England’s batting line-up has batters running deep, they all revolve around Stokes finishing things off for them.

Ben Stokes play Man of the Match knock in 2019 World Cup final

Chasing 242 runs at the Lord’s, hosts England were expected to have an easy task in their hands, but, they slumped to 86/4 in no time with the home crowd staring at an excruciating defeat. But, a timely partnership of 110 runs between Jos Buttler and Stokes saw the one-sided match getting balanced as it approached the last five overs.

However, with Buttler getting out, England needed 45 runs in the last five odd overs. Though England had part-time batsmen like Chris Woakes and Liam Pliunkett, it was up to Ben Stokes to do what’s necessary and the southpaw did it graciously. He scored 30 runs in the last 31 balls, taking most of the strikes and timing his shots against James Neesham, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult with clinical precision.


It would be fair to say that middle-order batsmen have the toughest jobs in ODI cricket, as the format sees a match swinging at both extremes in a span of 50 overs. A batsman would need technical astuteness, a vision and match-finishing abilities to become a successful middle-order batsman.



1. Who are the middle order batsmen of India?

A: India’s current middle-over batsmen at the World Cup are Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Panyda and Ravindra Jadeja.

2. Who is the best Indian middle order batsman of all time?

A: The best middle order batsman in Indian cricket history and one of the best ever is Rahul Dravid. A one-day total of more than 10,000 runs further indicates that he could change up his strategy according to the situation.

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