Mack relishing her time in the middle | Melbourne Stars - BBL
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Mack relishing her time in the middle

18 January 2017

WBBL|02 has been a season of change of Katie Mack, with the usual opener moved to the middle of the Stars batting order.

Coming in at number five faced with various situations, Mack has had to adapt to whatever is thrown her way. As the team’s second highest run-scorer behind only Captain Meg Lanning, and with the highest average at 59.75, Mack is relishing this new position.

“It started off really well because I was able to come in during a couple of games and just have to keep the run-rate going and I was able to just come in and push the ball around. With four out you can look for the single a bit more than when you’re opening.”

The change has definitely been an adjustment for Mack who has never started in the middle order previous to this BBL season, but she is learning a lot from this new role.

“I’ve opened for the last three years in every format and at the top you kind of set the pace yourself and set the pace for the game so coming in to a different situation every game in the middle is something that’s a bit of a challenge,” she said.

“You get to face a lot of spinners straight up when you open which is fun because I quite like versing the spinners. The ball is also not quite as new and then having four out instead of zero wickets down when I come in is different so that impacts how you play your game sometimes.”

“When I first started I was just hitting the ball around but I’m finding out recently that there’s a few things you’ve got to change batting in the middle order. I think you’ve probably got to take a few more risks to get the ball into the gap and you can’t really afford to just hit the ball over the top anywhere because there will probably be a fielder there.”

Mack’s new position also brings more responsibility to her game. With the batting line-up sometimes four wickets down and in desperate need of a spike in the runs, it falls to Mack to hike up the run-rate with her big hitting and lightning speed between the wickets.

“I actually probably feel a bit less pressure when we’re four down and I can just go in and all I’ve got to do is stay in and keep the run-rate ticking,” Mack said.

“But both positions have positives and I’m quite liking number five at the moment.”