A Strong Balanced Playing XI Comprising Pinch-Hitters

XI Comprising Pinch-Hitters

Pinch-hitter is someone, usually from the lower-order, who is brought up to bat in the top-order to get a few quick runs. The price on his wicket is less and hence, he does the job of going after the bowling. Pinch-hitters offer exceptional entertainment value to the viewers. In this article, we take a look at a balanced playing XI comprising pinch-hitters.


Pinch-hitter is actually a term that came from baseball. It was eventually designated as the term used to define a player who played in the top order to get quick runs. Many teams benefited from this strategy. Here, we look at an XI comprising only pinch-hitters.

Openers: Sanath Jayasuriya and Mark Greatbatch

Sanath Jayasuriya is one of the greatest batsmen in world cricket. He has scored tons of runs and leads the charts in a variety of categories. However, the Sri Lankan actually started out as a spinner who batted in the tail. In one of the games, he was promoted as an opener to get a few quick runs in the 1990s. Sanath, though, showed tremendous application and cemented his place as an opener. Hence, he is a part of this playing XI comprising pinch-hitters.


Mark Greatbatch was the first player termed to be a ‘pinch-hitter’. New Zealand used this strategy in the 1992 World Cup and this helped them in one of the knockout games. Since then, Greatbatch has played many games as an opener.

Middle-Order: Nicky Boje, Shahid Afridi, and MS Dhoni (C&WK)

While Nicky Boje has played 28 games at No.9, he has also operated at No.3 in 18 ODI games. He has a strike rate of close to 100 at No.3. The South African also has 96 ODI wickets to his name.

Shahid Afridi and MS Dhoni will complete the middle-order of this playing XI comprising pinch-hitters. Afridi knew only one way to bat. He instantly went after the bowling, and this came off in many games. While he is primarily a lower-order batter, he has also come up with the order on many occasions. Similarly, MS Dhoni was once sent to bat at No.3 to get off to a quick start. His role was pinch-hitting, but he scored 183 runs, and since then, there was no looking back for the legend.


All-Rounders: Ian Harvey and Chris Morris

Ian Harvey has been sent up the order on a number of occasions to get some quick runs. Hence, he features as one of the all-rounders in this playing XI comprising pinch-hitters. Including playing at No.3 and No.4, Chris Morris has also been a pinch-hitter in his career. His attribute is suited to the role. While he may not be extremely technically gifted, he can hit those huge hits consistently.

Bowlers: Mitchell Starc, Sunil Narine, Javagal Srinath and Pat Symcox

Mitchell Starc is a decent hand with the bat. Even he was once used as a pinch-hitter and hence, qualifies to this XI. Javagal Srinath, in ODI cricket, has batted at all positions in the batting order except opening the innings. He had terrific potential as a pinch-hitter, and hence, Team India had utilized it. Srinath has also got a half-century batting at No.3 in ODIs.

Sunil Narine is the most popular pinch-hitter of this generation. Especially in league cricket, Narine has opened the innings and been extremely successful in the role. Despite being a lower-order batsman, even Pat Symcox has been used as a pinch-hitter and hence, makes it to this XI.

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