India’s lower order batted out close to 200 odd runs in the 3rd test against England at Mohali helping India go 2-0 up in the series. In fact, the lower order has contributed 22% of the runs for India in 2016.
It was the first time that numbers 7,8 and 9 batsmen scored a 50+ score for India in an innings in tests. As a result of their fifties, India could double their score after being 204/6.
Even during India’s 500th test at Kanpur it was the lower order which put the pressure on the New Zealand batting. Ashwin and Jadeja both contributed 40+ runs giving India the psychological edge when they came on to bowl.
Team wise – Highest Average for Batting Position (7-11) since 2016 in Tests
In today’s cricketing world, it is important that teams bat deep in tests to ensure that they are able to get a defendable score. That’s exactly what India have done consistently this year. The shift in average in 2016 gives an example of how India managed to get those extra 50-100 runs.
Against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma was the batsman who batted with the tail. In some cases Saha too was useful while batting with the tail.
India – Average for Batting Position (7-11) at Home
Changing Ashwin’s batting position in hindsight has proven to be a stroke of genius. During the South Africa series, Ashwin batted at No.9 making it difficult for him to develop a partnership with the top-order batsmen.A slight change from No.9 to No.7 during the New Zealand did the trick for him as his average has taken a big jump.
Now, Ashwin is usually batting with a top order batsman to whom he could handover strike if ever he gets uncomfortable in the middle. Moreover, he can bat unreservedly knowing well that there are batsmen to come in Saha and Jadeja.
A shift in Batting Order for Ashwin that changed the fortunes for India in India
Ashwin’s new found batting form has led the foundation for Jadeja to get quick runs near the end of the innings. Jadeja’s contributions down the order in the recent past have won matches for India. Now Jayant Yadav further reinforces the Indian lower order, this would allow Jadeja to bat without restrictions as he did against England in the recent series.
With this lower order, it would be difficult for any bowling team to restrict India to less than 350 runs.
Key Contributions from Jadeja since South Africa series at Home