Why do we exist in a world where a team’s batting order is set in stone?
Bar a nightwatchman or the occasional shake-up in a rapidity requiring run chase, we rarely see any movement in a team’s batting order.
Okay okay, the openers swap around sometimes but regardless of talent isn’t there something already at hand that the batting order can use to their advantage to put a bowler off their rhythm?
Yes there is. It’s called right-handedness and left-handeness. Rather than having a middle order that’s set in stone, surely an interchangeable middle-order where the batting side maintain a right and left combo could really frustrate the bowling side. It’s not just the bowler either. Think about the constant field changes after every single and the strain this would have on the fielding captain.
Let’s take a look at the line-up below:
How about rather than Duckett definitely coming in at three, if Hameed falls first then Root come to the crease. If Root is then next out, Bairstow would come in at four.
If Jennings is out first then Duckett comes in, if Duckett himself is then dismissed Stokes could usurp Root. Alternatively if Hameed is out first then Root arrives at three but if Jennings is out before Root then Duckett comes in at four. If Root is then out Bairstow is the man at five.
Etc, etc, you get the idea. I’m only suggesting this for numbers three to six, though this could be extended dependent on the quality of the batsman at seven or eight and so on. Though he’s been dropped from the team above, Moeen Ali often bats at eight for England but as opener or three at domestic level. Bairstow tends to bat at seven at international level but at five if not four domestically. Rashid drops from six to nine or even ten when playing for England. Chris Woakes does the same.
If not in Test cricket then this policy could surely be worthwhile adopting in the T20 game.
Interchangeable batting orders, the future of cricket!
Disclaimer: I’m tired and if any of my batting order scenarios don’t align with the policy that I’m advocating then Third Umpire, push the button and give me OUT!