3 reasons why India’s middle order looks promising

India might have finally managed to bury the ghosts of Manchester on Sunday as they beat England by five wickets to take the series 2-1. This win was particularly satisfying because of how the middle-order stood up, despite the top-order failing.

This has been an issue with the Indian team for a long time. While Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli were at their peak, they used to win games single-handedly, and the middle-order wasn’t tested. However, it all came crashing down for the Men in Blue at Old Trafford in 2019.

In the semifinals of the World Cup against New Zealand, India’s big guns were back in the pavilion. Despite Ravindra Jadeja’s best efforts, the favorites were knocked out of the tournament.

When Rohit was appointed India’s white-ball captain, he clarified that preparing the middle-order for a ’10/3′ situation would be his priority ahead of the 2023 World Cup. Keeping that in mind, here are three reasons why their middle-order looks solid after the England ODIs.

#3 Rishabh Pant has probably realized how to pace his innings in ODIs

Rishabh Pant is undoubtedly one of India’s biggest match-winners in Test cricket. However, there were questions raised about his credentials in white-ball cricket.

Pant scored just 58 runs in five T20Is against South Africa at home, and the questions only increased when he was dismissed for a duck in the second ODI against England at Lord’s.

But the 24-year-old answered his critics in style, and that too once again in a series decider. He once again walked out to bat when India were in a precarious situation at 21/2. He took his time to settle at the crease and hardly took any risk until he got to his half-century.

Pant’s partnership with Hardik Pandya ensured India were on the brink of a fantastic win. Once he realized the finish line was within sight, he unleashed a flurry of boundaries and took the Men in Blue home in a canter. This knock would have given him a fair idea of how to pace his innings in ODIs.

#2 Hardik Pandya becoming the ideal No. 6 in ODIs for India

In just three ODIs, Hardik Pandya showed how valuable he is to this Indian side when he is fully fit. All eyes were on how the 28-year-old would fare on his comeback, and he has been sensational.

His performances in the series-decider in Manchester earned him a Player of the Series award. He troubled the batters with short deliveries and picked up his best ODI figures of 4/24. His classy knock of 71 completely took away all the pressure on Pant.

Hardik was also seen constantly chatting with the young southpaw, urging him to dig deep and win the game for his team. This also showed that apart from being a fantastic all-rounder at No. 6, he has become a great team man.

#1 Incredible bench strength with KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the wings

So captain Rohit Sharma will be happy about how the middle order performed yesterday. especially Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.all we need is some consistency from Pant ,Rohit and Kohli back to form and the return of KL Rahul to the team.#RohitSharma𓃵 #INDvENG #ViratKohli𓃵

Although the form of the current top three in the ODI team is a worrying sign for the Men in Blue, they will be relieved with the number of options they have in the middle order.

KL Rahul has been a prolific run-scorer for the ODI team, especially in the middle-order. With Pant having almost cemented his place at No. 4 and Hardik at No. 6, No. 5 has become an exciting position.

Although Suryakumar Yadav has been in stunning form and averages above 50 in the ODI format, he didn’t quite make the most of his place in the one-day team. One might think that Rahul will slot into the No. 5 position once he is back from injury.

But with Suryakumar, Shreyas Iyer, and even Deepak Hooda in the reserves, India have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to selecting their middle-order for the ODI World Cup next year.

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