9 Times the middle-order won the World Cup semi-finals and finals
While India's top order is among the world’s best, it's good to remember that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid also represented a dominating top order without winning a World Cup together.
A look at the number of match-winning performances by middle-order batsmen in semi-finals and finals of the World Cup shows just how important they are to the team. Can the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni or even Hardik Pandya do the same for India at the 2019 World Cup? It's still not certain and the team has just four months to get the combination right.
Here are nine times the middle-order was essential to the win.
#1) NZ vs PAK – 1992 World Cup Semi-final
Pakistan cricket changed forever when a young Inzamam-ul-Haq walked in at No 5 and scored a blistering 60 runs in 37 balls to take his team to the finals of the 1992 World Cup. He was well-supported by Moin Khan at No 7, who not only hit a quick 20 but also ensured that the tail would not be exposed. Pakistan would go on to become world champions, beating England in the final.
#2) ENG vs SA – 1992 World Cup Semi-final
All of us remember the bizarre fate of South Africa in the 1992 World Cup semi-final. Once the Duckworth-Lewis method was applied, South Africa ended up needing 22 runs in 1 ball. But they could have avoided all of this chaos had they stopped Graeme Hick, who came in to bat with England at 39/2, from producing a match-winning knock of 83 runs. It just proves that middle-order batsmen should know that troubleshooting is a major part of their role description.