Top 5 batsmen with most runs in the middle order in ODIs
The middle order is undoubtedly the most tricky position to bat in an ODI game. It can be highly demanding in terms of flexibility and adaptability as well as highly impactful on the fortunes of the team.
The positions 4-7 in ODI cricket require batsmen who can put the guard down and grind it out in the middle as well as go berserk right from the first ball if the situation calls for it. More often than not we see the players designated for these positions being used as floaters to fulfill the demands of the situation.
The most critical aspect of batting in the middle order is that it almost directly affects the outcome of a match, and hence the pressure is always immense. The onus to carry on from the top order and bat with the tail makes middle order batting a job for specialists.
Most of the successful sides, be it the dominant West Indies of 1980s, the invincible Aussies in the 2000s or the golden era of Indian cricket in the 2010s, had a stable and formidable middle order. Every World Cup winning side has had one or two of their middle order batsmen winning them crucial games - MS Dhoni in the 2011 final, Ben Stokes in the 2019 final and Aravinda de Silva in the 1996 final are just a few examples.
Middle order batsmen, however, are not the ones with many milestones to their name; most record holders are either openers or players who bat one down.
Considering how crucial yet underrated role the middle order batsmen play in ODIs, here is a look at 5 batsmen with most runs in the middle order:
#5 Aravinda de Silva
The Player of the Match of the 1996 World Cup final, Aravinda de Silva is one of the finest cricketers to have come from Lankan soil. The batting mainstay stands fifth in the list of highest run-scorers in the middle order with 7690 runs from 241 innings at an average of 37.37 and strike rate of 82.01.
His average pops up to 53.62 and strike rate to 87.85 in winning causes. 8 out of 10 hundreds and 31 out of 56 fifties from De Silva resulted in wins for Sri Lanka. His highest score of 145 also came in a winning cause.
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