Five greatest middle-order batsmen for Australia in ODIs
Australia, perennial ODI heavyweights and current reigning world champions, have been facing a slump in fortunes lately, having won just two of their last 12 completed One-Day Internationals. One of Australia's biggest strengths in white-ball cricket was the ability of their middle-order to take the game forward by manoeuvring the spinners and pressing on during the death overs.
Since the retirement of Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey and with Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and James Faulkner falling off the selection radar, Australia haven't been able to plug the gaps in their batting order. On that note, let us look back in time and rate the top five Australian middle-order batsmen in ODI cricket.
#5 Dean Jones (1984-1994)
Career Stats: Matches: 164 Innings: 161 Runs: 6068 Avg: 44.61 50s/100s: 46/7 S/R: 72.56
Dean Jones, one of the pillars of Australian cricket during their rebuilding phase of the '80s, was one of the best ODI batsmen of his generation. His rollicking approach to batting coupled with outstanding fielding made Jones one of the early trendsetters of white ball cricket.
Seldom before had we seen a batsman shimmying down the track to tonk fast bowlers over the infield. Jones struggled against the spinners during the initial phase of his career, but by the time the Reliance World Cup, jointly hosted by India and Pakistan, had rolled in, Jones had become a seasoned campaigner.
His ability to manoeuvre the spinners during the middle overs coupled with swift running between the wickets made him one of the most successful players of his time. While he scored seven international hundreds in his ODI career, Jones compiled his magnum opus in the final of the Benson and Hedges World Series in 1988-89 against the West Indies 1uartet of Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh, and Ian Bishop.
His brilliant 93 off 82 balls didn't help Australia win the game, but it was the ruthless brand of white ball magic that cemented his place in cricketing folklore.