Batting order

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Batting order

Cricket is a team game. The batting order in this sport refers to the situation when a team chooses a sequence of players to hit the ball with the bat. If the inning is not completed ahead of schedule, all 11 players registered for the match must participate in the game.

Batting order: the basic meaning

For convenience, the batting order in cricket is divided into several stages:

  • Top order (bats one to three). Usually, young players get the right to play in these positions.
  • Middle order(bats four to eight). It is divided into upper middle order (bats four and five) and lower middle order (bats six to eight). At numbers 4 and 5, the team leaders enter the game, who hit an older ball. Their coaches require them to recruit as many runners as possible. Sometimes the leading players correct the mistakes of their predecessors.
  • Tail enders (bats nine to eleven). At the end of the inning, players with average or low batting skills enter the field. Cricketers most often play in the positions of bowler or wicket-keeper.

Coaches usually know the batting order before the starting whistle. However, events in matches can develop in such a way that you have to rebuild. Then you have to make changes to the original plans. What reasons can there be for this, besides the account in the meeting?

  • The opponent’s form at a particular moment.
  • In games of the One Day International and Twenty20 International formats, sometimes athletes play best on the fourth or fifth numbers. That is, in this case, we can talk about the dependence of the batting order on the format.
  • The current form of a particular player at a specific time of the match.

Batting order: how are changes made?

Only the team captain can change the batting order. Most often, the plans are adjusted in the next match of the series or tournament. However, this is just an established practice. In fact, a specialist can shuffle partners every inning. There are cases when captains completely change the batting order after an unsuccessful inning.

It happens that changing the batting order is beneficial for teams. For example, in 2017, the captain of the Indian national team, Faf de Plessis, made five changes to the squad after an unsuccessful inning against England. Some players slightly changed their positions — for example, from 4 to 5. However, the main thing is that such tactics brought success to the Indian national team. But Imran Tahir from the South African national team did not cope with his role in the 2017 season. In the match against India, he was dissatisfied with the game of 7 cricketers. As a result, the batting order was changed completely for the next inning. However, this did not help to change the course of the meeting.

Sometimes coaches specifically put good batsmen in the middle of the innings to help the team score quick points. Sometimes players of not the highest level are in this position since they do not have a goal to protect the wicket. Such cricketers are called a pinch hitter or slogger.

In cricket, the expression “nightwatchman” is popular. It means a player who is sent to the batsman position at the end of the game day. Usually, this role goes to a young player, not from among the main players. At this time, the leaders get the opportunity to take a breath and protect themselves from being eliminated before the next game day. The advantage of this tactic is also that it is easier for experienced players to start the game from scratch. By demonstrating good shots, they instill additional confidence in their teammates in their own abilities. However, there are examples when “nightwatchman” shows good results the next day.

Batsmen who go first in the batting order should consider that they play with a new and hard ball, which has a noticeable seam. Thus, you need to be prepared for an unpleasant high bounce of the ball, a deviation to the side (especially in a strong wind). Such conditions are more suitable for the bowling side. As the quality of the ball deteriorates, the batting side has more chances to score points and defend wickets. With a good combination of circumstances in the middle of the innings, the batsman can stay in his zone for a long time.

We should also mention the game at the batsman position in games with a limited number of overs. Here, players are required to have a good speed of movement on the field. A big advantage for teams is the presence of a batsman in the squad who can act well on the first number. An excellent indicator is if the first number of the team remained in the game, and all the opponents’ cricketers were eliminated. Then the expression “carried the bat” can be used to address such a player — one of the highest forms of praise for a batsman.

Batting order: the best players

In cricket, statistics are kept, where you can find out on which number players managed to score the maximum number of points in test matches.


Athlete Points Matches

  1. Sir Len Hutton (England) 364 vs. Australia at The Oval, 1938
  2. Matthew Hayden (Australia) 380 vs. Zimbabwe at Perth, 2003–04
  3. Brian Lara (West Indies) 400 England at St. John’s, 2003–04
  4. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) 374 vs. South Africa at Colombo, 2006–07
  5. Michael Clarke (Australia) 329 vs. India at Sydney, 2012
  6. Ben Stokes (England) 258 vs. South Africa at Newlands, 2016
  7. Donald Bradman (Australia) 270 vs. England at Melbourne, 1936–37
  8. Wasim Akram (Pakistan) 257 vs. Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura, 1996–97
  9. Ian Smith (New Zealand) 173 vs. India at Auckland, 1989–90
  10. Walter Read (England) 117 vs. Australia at The Oval, 1884
  11. Ashton Agar (AUS) 98 vs. England at Trent Bridge, 2013

The smallest figure is fixed on number 11 — only 98 points. Most of all, players managed to dial on the 3rd number. Brian Lara from the West Indies scored an excellent result of 400 points, and he set this achievement in a match against the England national team in the 2003/04 season. It should be noted that the Australian Donald Bradman, who is considered one of the greatest players in history, usually played at higher numbers but set a record on the 7th.


  1. Kiran Baluch (Pakistan) 242 vs. West Indies women’s cricket team at Karachi, 2004
  2. Thirush Kamini (India) 192 vs. South Africa women’s national cricket team at Mysore, 2014
  3. Karen Rolton (Australia) 209 vs. England at Headingley, 2001
  4. Mithali Raj (India) 214 vs. England at Taunton, 2002
  5. Emily Drumm (New Zealand) 161 vs. Australia at Christchurch, 1995
  6. Yvonne van Mentz (South Africa) 105 vs. England at Newlands, 1961.
  7. Kathryn Leng (England) 144 vs. Australia at Scarborough, 1996
  8. Chamani Seneviratne (Sri Lanka) 105 vs. Australia at Havelock Park, 1998
  9. Debbie Wilson (Australia) 92 vs. New Zealand, at Cornwall Park, Auckland, 1990
  10. Shelley Nitschke (Australia) 81 vs. England, at Hove, 2005
  11. Clea Smith (Australia) 42 vs. England, at Hove, 2005

For women, the minimum batting order indicator is also shown on number 11. The best result belongs to Mithali Raj from India, who performed on the fourth number, — 214 points.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert
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