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India’s upper order (1-3) woes in Tests: Only Rohit Sharma has batting average of 45+ in WTC 2021-23

India’s upper order (1-3) woes in Tests: Only Rohit Sharma has batting average of 45+ in WTC 2021-23.

Ind vs Eng 3rd Test, Day 3 highlights_ Rohit Sharma's 59 at the top give India a solid start at Leeds. India trail by 139 runs; India 215_2, England 432. (Photo_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Rohit Sharma ave 45.80 from 6 games in WTC 2021-23 (Photo: ©BCCI/Twitter)

For a team that is traditionally known to be a batting-heavy unit, the current India Test batting line-up has been a pale shadow of its past. Especially the upper order (1-3) which is expected to score bulk of the runs, their returns in the past couple of years has been underwhelming.


Post restoration of normalcy after the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s success rate overseas has increased without any doubt but at the same time there has been a drastic loss of form in several of India’s upper-order batters including KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara, which is a huge cause of concern for the team. It is high time that the team management under the helm of skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid must ponder upon this problem.


More often than not it has been the middle order and lower middle order who have bailed India out of trouble when the upper order has collapsed as it so often has in the recent past. This includes games in home conditions. Again, we reiterate that despite this India have been successful in the longest format of the game.


The following table clearly depicts what we are trying to say here. Here is the performance of some of the regular members of India’s Test squad in the batting positions from numbers 1 to 3 in World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23.


Read More: Kohli’s poor Test form continues: An average of 26.20 during 2020-22 as against 54.97 during 2011-19


Overall stats for upper order (1-3) in WTC 2021-23 (Criteria: Minimum of 3 Tests)

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

100s/50s

Rohit Sharma

6

458

45.80

1/2

Cheteshwar Pujara

12

731

34.80

1/5

Mayank Agarwal

7

436

33.53

1/2

KL Rahul

9

598

33.22

2/2

Shubman Gill

5

322

32.20

1/1

Hanuma Vihari

3

155

31

0/1

From the above stats, we can infer that India’s top-three have been highly inconsistent in the 14 Tests they have played after the WTC 2019-21 Final debacle; only Rohit Sharma has scored runs at a batting average in excess of 45 in the given Tests which cover the recent Bangladesh tour, home series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and the tough away tours to England and South Africa.


It must be noted that India still have a four-match home Test series against Australia in February 2023, and only a comprehensive win there would seal their spot in the final of WTC 2021-23.


Stats of upper order (1-3) at Home venues in WTC 2021-23

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

100s/50s

Rohit Sharma

2

90

30

0/0

Cheteshwar Pujara

2

95

23.75

0/0

Mayank Agarwal

4

301

43

1/1

Shubman Gill

2

144

36

0/1

Hanuma Vihari

2

124

41.33

0/1


Stats of upper order (1-3) at away venues in WTC 2021-23 (Criteria: Minimum of 3 Tests)

Player

Matches

Runs

Average

100s/50s

Rohit Sharma

4

368

52.57

1/2

Cheteshwar Pujara

10

636

37.41

1/5