Home > Features > Facts and figures >

England’s problem with No 6 and 7 batsmen

Mathews-Haddin-Dhoni
(From Left) World’s premier No 7′s Brad Haddin, MS Dhoni and Angelo Mathews © Getty Images

England bowlers have been made to toil hard despite some good bowling efforts. Abhijit Banare looks at the game-changing moments in England’s previous two Test series which is common to the first Test against India.

By now, this article seems a touch irrelevant looking at Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami’s partnership on the second day. England faced a similar struggle while trying to dismiss Rangana Herath at Leeds, which saw the match slip from their hands and they went on to lose a thriller. However, England’s frustration in dismissing the lower order begins with the inability to capitalise after making early inroads. It’s the No. 6 and No. 7 batsmen (usually the last recognised set of batsmen for any team) who have snatched the momentum of the Test.

To begin with the most recent example, India were on the mat, losing two of their star batsmen in quick succession post lunch. A painstaking innings from Ajinkya Rahane came to an end with India precariously placed on 178 for four. Despite a flat deck, England bowlers could’ve easily pocketed the momentum if they had managed to get MS Dhoni early. The Indian skipper came in with an unconvincing overseas Test record. The next thing you know, Dhoni and Murali Vijay had added 126 for the fifth wicket.

Same was the case in both of their Tests against Sri Lanka. Even on this occasion, the opposition skipper was responsible for piling on the frustration. Angelo Mathews struck consecutive tons of which the second one helped Sri Lanka fight back. Mathews, along with Herath took Lanka past 400 from 277 from six.

The Ashes 2013-14 was a series-winning effort altogether for the No 7 batsman. Brad Haddin scored 493 runs in eight innings at an average of 61.62 with five fifties in a row and a century. Though George Bailey at 6 was not that effective, he still came up with a few handy innings.

Below is the runs scored by No. 6 and No. 7 in last seven Tests against England. A total of 943 runs in 11 innings at an average of 85.72. This gives an indication of where things go wrong for England.

Team

Test

Innings

Position

Batsman

R

Australia

1st

1st

7

Brad Haddin

94

2nd

6

George Bailey

34

7

Brad Haddin

53

2nd

1st

6

George Bailey

53

7

Brad Haddin

118

3rd

1st

7

Brad Haddin

59

2nd

6

George Bailey

39*

4th

1st

7

Brad Haddin

65

5th

1st

7

Brad Haddin

75

2nd

6

George Bailey

46

Sri Lanka

1st

1st

6

Angelo Mathews

102

2nd

1st

7

Dinesh Chandimal

45

2nd

6

Angelo Mathews

160

The late partnerships give the much needed confidence to the tail-enders to follow and predictably they knock a few more runs to pile on the misery. This has been a case with India as well, who have given away many matches in such fashion. While the batting has been a worry, England’s bowling too has looked ordinary due to the late order surge.

In England’s defence, the chances got reduced significantly when the opposition batsmen were in form. It was a series that belonged to Haddin’s gutsy batting as much as it did for Mitchell Johnson’s thunderbolts. For Sri Lanka, it was only a matter of time that their new captain showed his true class and he chose England to strike form. Dhoni too came back with a new approach to his Test batting. But these partnerships are clearly costing them the confidence and the match which gets carry forwarded to the next Test and the next series.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Lokesh Rahul bowled by Piyush Chawla on 185

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma admits he was nervous during his comeback against Sri Lankans in warm-up tie

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Jesse Ryder included in New Zealand A squad to tour UAE in November

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Diet Tip #38: Choose whole wheat flour over white flour

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3

How to sterilise your baby’s feeding bottle in 5 easy steps

Happy Ending music review: Sachin-Jigar compose a fun-filled album for Saif Ali Khan-Ileana D’Cruz’s rom com!

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Happy New Year actor Abhishek Bachchan to devote two months to nurture ISL team Chennaiyin

Super Nani movie review: Rekha delivers a boring lecture on how to treat your mother

Apple replaces user’s iPad for free after NASA rocket mishap

Xiaomi poaches Donovan Sung from Spotify to lead international product development: Report

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here