Numbers Don't Lie February 29, 2016

India missing turbo-charged T20 endings

The lower middle order isn't providing the final push for a big total towards the end of the innings
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India's T20 team have won seven of their last eight games. While the form of the top order has been quite impressive, the lower middle order (Nos. 5 to 7) is an area of concern. In fact, for the last couple of years India haven't quite found the thrust at the back end of an innings despite having several limited-overs stalwarts in the line-up.

  • India's Nos. 5 to 7 batsmen have a strike rate of 118.6 since January 2014 - the worst of all teams
  • No Indian batsman from Nos. 5 to 7 is among the top 20 in terms of strike rate for those having played 25-plus balls since January 2014
  • Yuvraj Singh's strike rate of 153.08 till 2103 has dropped to 92.59 since 2014 in T20Is

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on March 5, 2016, 14:19 GMT

    There are 2 ways of winning the T20 matches: 1. Study S/R of 7 for first 10 overs + close to 10 in last 10 overs followed by economical wkt. taking bowling. 2. Power hitting from the first ball to register a total of 200+ with average bowling. India falls in the first category with good aggressive batting at the top followed by 5 good bowlers who can take wkts. So even with a total of 170, India stand a good chance of defending it with their present bowlers. The only problem comes on green & fast pitches assisting pace bowlers as the SA, Aussies & England have. Indian batting is needs one more reliable batsmen in the middle replacing one of the 3 all rounders- Raina, Yuvraj or Pandya. Otherwise this squad has 3 tailor made pacers in Nehra, Kumar & Bumrah assisted by spinners Ashwin & Jadeja + 3 all rounders. On a spinners pitch this team will be a World beater. Only on green pitches Indian batting needs help! So Turbo charged finish is not a "MUST".

  • Manan on March 2, 2016, 12:40 GMT

    One day 1) Rohit 2) Rahane 3) Kohli 4) Dhoni 5) Raina 6) H Pandya 7) D Hooda(in subcontinent/Irfan Pathan overseas 8) R Jadeja 9) Ashwin 10) Shami ahmed 11) J Bumrah/Sandeep sharma/Bhuvi.

    2 quick bowler 2 spiner all rounder 2 medium pacer all rounder and raina. 6 and half bowler should give dhoni a lot of option for a weak bowling. Ashwin comes at 9 gives a depth in batting. With Pandya, Raina, D Hooda, Jadeja can hit in last 10 overs and bat freely.

    Good fielding unit with kohli raina pandya

  •   Raghu Panjala on March 1, 2016, 19:28 GMT

    Dhoni hits shots in poor bowling.Come good line and length ,he struggles. He is sole reason India lost 2 ODI's and 1 ODI against SA,AUS -where we were going good and Dhoni even couldne keep up min RR of 6 after so many years of experience. Rabada had him done. But he is good in T20 , because he doesnt have to score 50 runs .If he has to ,believe me he will Give up against good bowling . He has changed and isnt competitive. Dont understand why fans are gung ho on him. We need Millers at 6th pos in our team and sad we dont have any. Raina is good . no worries. Yuv and Dhoni are drawbacks. But Yuvi is good with bowling .so Dhoni is culprit.

  •   Pratik Narula on March 1, 2016, 17:30 GMT

    Where are all the Yuvraj haters now? He's been selected for a reason. He's a match winner. India don't win the 50over World Cup without him. He was the man of the tournament taking wickets and scoring the highest. India don't win the World T20 the first one ever to be played in South Africa without him. So stop with the hate! The captain and the selectors who know much more about the game and the team than us have selected him, so all we can do is support and watch his beautiful game come alive. Every player goes through phases. Hopefully he has a great final Asia Cup game and carry's his good form to the WT20 as well. Raina is also a big time player, he needs to work a bit more on his fitness and I think he's always been a natural striker of the ball. Our middle order of Raina Yuvraj Dhoni and Hardik Pandya is the best in the World right now and the beauty is that they can all be rotated in the lineup they don't have to have a fixed position. That makes the team stronger, not weaker.

  • Thomas Cherian on March 1, 2016, 12:32 GMT

    Yuvraj is a flop and Raina on the top is not the answer. Pandey needs to be given a chance instead of wasting his talent like thy did with Tiwari

  • KISH on March 1, 2016, 12:11 GMT

    For those who are making comments against Yuvraj, because someone came up with some statistics to show that his strike rate dropped, please read my earlier comments. Because, in T20's, these strike rates are only good for 2 or 3 innings. Because, 2 or 3 good innings and suddenly the same writer will write that Yuvi's strike rate has been magnificent. So, you can't read so much into the stats in T20's because it is a very short game where a lower middle order batsmen faces 8- 20 balls per match on an average. One thing you can judge is, whether or not he is contributing to the wins. My answer is, he is certainly doing that. Whether it was the last T20 against the Aussies or the Asia cup match against Pakistan, he played a vital role, with the bat, in those wins . He played according to what the situation demanded. You don't have to maintain a strike rate of 200 when chasing 83 in 20 overs.

  • Fair on March 1, 2016, 9:05 GMT

    Pandya and Jadeja have to stepup. Dhoni is fading fast and cannot provide the required impetus in the closing overs.

  • Arshad on March 1, 2016, 8:34 GMT

    Well.... Hard to believe India strike rate for position 5-7 is worst than Pakistan.... You need to re-check your numbers. Even the top order strike rate of Pakistan is worst than any number 11 of other teams.

  • Jose on March 1, 2016, 8:09 GMT

    Including Negi in the team came as a surprise. If we are not willing to try him out, in place of Yuvi, who is not going to get any younger or more agile, what was the whole purpose of that youngster hanging around the team? To get used to, to be around the national players? Which used to be cited as the reason in the pre-IPL days. Now they get that exposure not only with the national players, but international players too.

  • MS on March 1, 2016, 6:54 GMT

    Let the job be finished by the top 5/6 batsman and we should not leave this to the lower order and that's it.

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