What’s batting order (top, middle & lower order), how to determine it in cricket?

In this article lets take a look at what batting order is in cricket and what is the difference between top order, middle order and lower order batsmen and whether batting order matters in cricket and how to determine it in detail.

This is the most comprehensive guide you can find related to batting order on the internet.

So without further ado lets get started

What is batting order & How does the batting order work in cricket?

In cricket, the batting order is the sequence in which batters play through their team’s innings, there always being two batters taking part at any one time. All eleven players in a team are required to bat if the innings is completed (i.e., if the innings does not close early due to a declaration or other factor in test cricket or the team has chased the target fast in second innings).

What is top order middle order and lower order in cricket?

To summarise it in simple words the basic meaning of all the terms of batting order is, the top order of cricket is first 1-3 batsman of the team and first & second batsman are called openers because they will open the innings of the team and the middle order comprises from 4 to 7 which will usually include any all rounder or any wicket keeper of the team & Lower order comprises from 8 to 11 and in this section of lower order it is only bowlers who will be listed.

For the sake of better understanding let’s take a look at an example of Indian cricket team and we will take a look at the Limited overs which is one day international cricket team of India at present.

  1. Rohit Sharma
  2. Shikhar Dhawan
  3. Virat Kohli
  4. Shreyas Iyer
  5. Rishabh pant
  6. Surya Kumar Yadav
  7. Shardul Thakur
  8. Ravindra Jadeja
  9. Mohammed Shami
  10. Jasprit bumrah
  11. Yuzvendra chahal

As you can clearly see in the above playing 11 of Indian cricket team of ODI matches the top 3 batsman who are Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are called openers because they will open the innings of the match from team India side and Virat Kohli is batting at Number 3 in the batting order and Iyer bats at 4 and so on so forth and the lower order players are called tailenders because they are the tail of any cricket team

The top 3 batsman are called top order batsman and starting from 4-7 are called a middle order batsman and this is where we have Rishabh pant who is a wicketkeeper of team India and shardul Thakur who is the all rounder of the team, and from 8 to 11 we have lower order batsman including all rounder Ravindra Jadeja and bowlers.

I hope now it makes sense for you of all the differences between top order middle order and lower order batsman in the cricket team.

It is very important to know that number 3 number 4 and number 5 batsman are most important in any cricket team apart from the openers because even if the openers lose the wicket in the initial stages of the game, the middle order batsman has to take the responsibility and not only manage innings, settle themselves on

The wicket but also have to take the innings forward and score runs in Limited overs format of the game and bowlers are selected in the lower order starting from 8 to 11 number because they have more specialisation of bowling compared to batting and they are not expected to score many runs and all the runs they score are considered bonus so they will be included down the order so that the best batsman in the team can play in the starting and most overs in the game to score maximum runs as possible.

A lower order batsman will often see themselves tasked with forming a partnership with a top/middle order player as they work their way towards a big score, so the lower order player’s main responsibility will be to remain at the crease.

The positions and batting order of players in Cricket is based upon best to average batting ability of the players in the team and playing at number 3,4,5 have the best batting ability in the team because they will be usually attacking in nature & crucial in any team.

How to determine & decide batting order in cricket?

To answer it in brief words,

The batting order in cricket is determined and decided by the captain and head coach of the team considering various factors.

And the decision of whether a batsman will bat at number 3 or 5 or in the top order will be taken largely by the captain and head coach along with the player after a lot of discussions and detailed analysis of the players skills and abilities.


For example Virat Kohli is one of the most destructive and most aggressive batsman you can find in the 21st century in cricket but he only likes to play at Number 3 in the Limited overs format like ODI and T20 because he is more aggressive and attacking batsman and has less defensive technique whereas


Dean Elgar who’s opening Batsman and captain of South Africa test cricket team bats At number 2 for South African cricket because he is more defensive and very less aggressive and he has more patient batsmen, controls his natural shots,  and is an opener.

This is to let you know that the decision of batting order and whether a batsman will play at a particular number will be decided by the captain, head coach and batting coach along with the players ability, keeping in mind the various factors of the game such as format of the game, records of the batsman against any bowler, bowlers bowling in the game, etc

With that said let’s end the article.


These are all the things you need to know about batting order in cricket and

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