Middle-order is one of the toughest batting positions in T20 cricket. Unlike the top-order batsmen who usually have a set role and style of play, middle-order batsmen have the task of adapting to the match situation and bat accordingly. The need for the ability to play both anchor and pinch-hitting roles gives rise to the essence of multi-dimensional batting.

Here we look at how middle-order batsmen (from to 10 teams who have faced a minimum 150 deliveries batting at positions 4-7) have fared in T20Is since the 2016 T20 World Cup:

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Summary:

A total of 35 batsmen from the top 10 T20I teams have batted above 150 balls from positions 4 to 7.

  • Most Runs: Shoaib Malik (PAK) – 853 runs from 31 Innings
  • Best Average: Glenn Maxwell (AUS) – 53.91
  • Highest Strike Rate: Thisara Perera (SL) – 161.25
  • Most Hundreds: Glenn Maxwell (AUS) – 2
  • Most Fifties: Eoin Morgan (ENG) – 6
  • Most 6s – Mohammad Nabi (AFG) – 49
  • Most 4s: Mahmudullah (BAN) and Shoaib Malik (PAK) – 67
  • Least Balls per Boundary: Dinesh Karthik (IND) – 4.52

Numbers in Details:

  • 12 batsmen have scored at a strike rate of 140 or above, out of which only 6 have managed a strike rate above 150
  • 11 batsmen take less than 6 deliveries to score a boundary; 3 of them (Dinesh Karthik, Mohammad Nabi, Thisara Perera) taking less than 5 balls. Karthik has the least balls per boundary (4.52). In the 18 innings he has played, Karthik has hit 28 fours and 14 sixes at a strike rate of 157.36.
  • Only 2 batsmen (Mohammad Nabi and Heinrich Klaasen) hit a six in less than 10 balls. Mohammad Nabi has the least balls per six (9.27)
  • Mohammad Nabi has the most sixes among the players in the list, having hit 49 sixes in 30 innings.
  • Glenn Maxwell is the only batsman to hit more than 2 sixes per innings. A total of 15 batsmen have more than or equal to 1 six per innings
  • 15 batsmen have averaged to over 30; two of them (Glenn Maxwell and Manish Pandey) have an average above 50.
  • Glenn Maxwell has the highest average (53.91) and also has the highest runs per innings (40.44). No other batsman has more than 30 runs per innings. He is followed by Virat Kohli (29.64) and Eoin Morgan( 28.96).

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  • Glenn Maxwell is the only player with an average above 50 and a 150-plus strike rate. Dinesh Karthik is close, with an average just below 50.
  • Thisara Perera, Hardik Pandya, Colin de Grandhomme and Heinrich Klaasen have a scope of improving their average.
  • Mohammad Nabi, Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Shoaib Malik, Farhaan Behardien and Najibullah Zadran come in the zone with good average and strike rate.
  • Glenn Maxwell and David Miller are the only centurions on the list. Maxwell has scored two hundred while Miller has scored one. Eoin Morgan with 6 fifties has the most half-centuries.

Glenn Maxwell has been a standout performer in the middle order in T20 cricket, having some of the best numbers across all parameters. Dinesh Karthik has not got enough exposure, facing just above 10 balls per innings (10.56), but has done his job whenever he got his chances. Shoaib Malik has been a great asset for Pakistan, playing a solid finisher’s role. Virat Kohli has maintained good numbers despite playing out of position. Manish Pandey has shown great potential for taking up the finishing role for India but needs to work on his power game. The likes of Mahmudullah, David Miller, Shreyas Iyer, and MS Dhoni have decent numbers, good enough for a middle-order batsman.

[Source for DataHowstat, ESPNcricinfo]