With advancements all around the world, in every field, cricket has also evolved, especially since the T20 format came into existence.
Cricket has not only improved commercially, but the competition has enhanced multifold and when the top cricketing nations are taken into consideration, every year you see some new additions to the squad. Sometimes players are dropped, while sometimes you see several youngsters being handed the responsibility to get the job done.
With the growing demand for batsmen because of the growth of domestic leagues in various nations, batsmen who are explosive or hard-hitters as you call them, players with strike rates over 100 are preferred. Not just that, even the bowlers have stepped up a notch by not just performing well with the bowl but also focusing on their batting.
Be it a domestic league like the IPL or a worldwide tournament like the Cricket World Cup, the Champions Trophy, or the World T20, teams have started to prefer bowlers who can bat at the death too.
So let's have a look at some exceptional batting performances by bowlers who showed their potential in the department they are not the most trusted with.
Below are some performances by batsmen at no.8 that came out of the blue.
|Players (Country)||Runs||Opposition (Year)|
|Simi Singh (IRE)||100*||South Africa (2021)|
|Sam Curran (ENG)||95*||India (2021)|
|Nathan Coulter-Nile (AUS)||92||West Indies (2019)|
|Wanindu Hasaranga (SL)||80*||West Indies (2021)|
|Ravindra Jadeja (IND)||77||New Zealand (2019)|
|Wanindu Hasaranga (SL)||74||Bangladesh (2021)|
|Deepak Chahar (IND)||69*||Sri Lanka (2021)|
|Mohammad Nabi (AFG)||64||Ireland (2019)|
|Jan Frylinck (NAM)||60||U.S.A (2019)|
|Doug Bracewell (NZ)||57||India (2019)|
|Wahab Riaz (PAK)||52||Zimbabwe (2020)|
|Mohammad Saifuddin (BAN)||51*||India (2019)|
|Fabian Allen (WI)||51||Sri Lanka (2019)|
|David Willey (ENG)||51||Ireland (2020)|
Now we'll deeply analyze the best five innings from the above table.
Simi Singh (100*)
South Africa were trailing in the three-match series against Ireland after being vanquished in the second ODI. It was their final chance to level the series and they ensured that they hit the ground running, not allowing the hosts, Ireland, to take the game away from them.
The Proteas won the toss and elected to bat first. They managed to put a gigantic total of 346 on the board, with an unbeaten 177 by Janneman Malan, 120 by Quinton de Kock and they could've scored more had the batsmen coming next stayed longer on the crease.
With the bowling prowess South Africa possessed, they entered the second innings very confidently and had the kind of start they wanted. Ireland were 6/92 inside 20 overs and then it was Simi Singh who came to bat.
On any ordinary day, no one would've anticipated a no.8 batsman to threaten the South African team but this time, Simi Singh had other plans.
Not only did he score an unbeaten 100, but he also became the first-ever no.8 batsman to score a ton. Unfortunately, he couldn't win the game for his side but his batting had enough venom to haunt the Proteas bowlers who were having a gala time until he came on the crease.
Sam Curran (95*)
Another three-match ODI series, another battle that saw many exceptional batting displays but the one we're about to mention still haunts the Indians who watched the match when it happened.
It was the series decider and just like the last scenario, India posted a decent total of 329, with half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (67), Rishabh Pant (78), and Hardik Pandya (64).
England had 330 to chase and did not have the start they'd want in a decider but a decent partnership between Ben Stokes and Dawid Malan brought momentum for the visitors to look forward towards the chase.
England were 7/200 after 30.3 overs and it felt that India had the series in their bag. However, Sam Curran held one end gave the Indian bowlers a tough time as he fired an unbeaten 95*, bringing England so close to clinch the series.
Sam Curran's 95* was not only inspirational but also a record until Simi Singh broke it in the same year, a few weeks ago.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (92)
The 10th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, was Australia vs West Indies, with West Indies winning the toss and electing to field first.
Australia did have the best start but Steven Smith batted beautifully to put a valuable 73 until Alex Carey's 45 added more to Australia's total.
However, when Carey was dismissed, Australia were 6/147 in 30.4 overs and it felt that a collapse was on the way. With Smith on one end, Coulter-Nile came out to bat at no.8 and produced one of the finest innings by a batsman at no.8. He scored 92 off just 60 balls, with eight fours and four sixes.
He was dismissed in the 48th over but by that time Australia were 284, a total that was highly respectable and something the Australian bowlers could defend.
Australia concluded their innings with 288 on the board, and Coulter-Nile's innings of 92 saved them as West Indies summed up their innings for 9/273, falling 15 runs short of the Australian total.
Finally, a batsman's efforts didn't go vain.
Ravindra Jadeja (77)
After rain washed off the day's play, the first semi-final of the 2019 ICC World Cup continued the next day, with New Zealand posting a total of 239, courtesy of slow and steady performances by Kane Williamson, the skipper (67) and Ross Taylor (74).
India were out to bat and their highly recognised top-order failed to trouble the Kiwi bowlers in any way.
India were struggling and were 6/92 in 30.3 overs when Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat. With MS Dhoni on the other end, India needed someone solid to help him get India close to the total and Jadeja was the man.
Not only did he hold his end well, but it was he who was guiding India closer to the total. Jadeja took the matter into his hands, played the right shots and was also helped by luck at times.
Jadeja's 50 made every Indian feel that the dream of another World Cup was still alive as India breathed through the competition through him, seeing him do his iconic 'sword celebration'.
From 6/92 in 30 overs, India reached 207 towards the end of the 48th over. However, with the constant pressure looming on him, a decision to take on Trent Boult on the penultimate ball of his over and lost his wicket to him as the Indians hoped that they would be given another chance to get back but Kane Williamson's safe hands shattered the Indian dreams partially.
Jadeja scored a quick 77 from just 59 balls and rotated the strike brilliantly with Dhoni. However, just four balls after his dismissal, MS Dhoni's unfortunate run out put an end to India's hope of another World Cup.
India may have lost the semi-final but his innings was a slap on everyone's face who doubted him, criticised him on various occasions without understanding the full potential of this player.
Wanindu Hasaranga (74)
The first ODI and the hosts Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first. Tamim Iqbal scored a stunning 52, Mahmudullah scored 54, but it was Mushfiqur Rahim who made the headlines with his 84.
Bangladesh managed to score 257 at the end of 50 overs and the visitors, Sri Lanka had to chase 258 to take the lead in the series.
Sri Lanka did not have the best starts and they found themselves 6/102 in the 27th over when Wanindu Hasaranga came out to bat.
From the moment he started batting, he had a vision different from the team and his flare was quite evident to all the Bangladesh bowlers.
His partnership with Isuru Udana got Sri Lanka close and it felt like the game could turn on its head. However, Hasaranga's wicket in the 43rd over ended their hopes to get back into the match.
With 46 runs needed from almost six overs, had Hasaranga stayed we could've witnessed a different ending but the truth was that Bangladesh contrived to get rid of him.
Hasaranga's 74 off 60 balls was a perfect example of how Sri Lanka should've played. Smart and safe. It was yet another spectacular performance by a batsman who came to bat at the no.8 position.
Deepak Chahar's 69*, Doug Bracewell's 57, and Mohammad Nabi's 64 are some other examples of how bowlers coming to bat at the no.8 position flourished as a batsman, scoring vital runs for their side.
Irrespective of the result, those innings were something that the players would cherish, while the ones who ended in a lost cause would still be repenting as they couldn't change their team's fortune.
Which innings from the above-mentioned ones were your favourite? Let us know via our social media accounts. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We bet you won't be disappointed. Stay tuned for more updates.