It is said that batsmen and bowlers save matches but the ones who win are all-rounders. Yes it’s true that all-rounders have given the game a new dimension and an edge when it comes to winning matches for their teams. They are a captain’s delight and a nightmare for the opposition. But we have not given due appreciation to all-rounders. All these years we have admired the individual excellence of Sachin, Warne, Ganguly, Bradman, Holding etc. but we failed to appreciate the real match winners who deliver every time the team is in need and become the “Sankatmochak” of the team. They demarcate between a good team and a great team. West Indian squad of 70s and 80s had many great all-rounders and that was the reason why they were the world beaters.
Youth Ki Awaaz pays its regards to these wonderful species of cricketers who had turned the table whenever their teams were in trouble and are the best bet on any given day. Today we will tell you about the top 5 all-rounder in IPL this year.
1. Yusuf Pathan – A complete package for a match winner, who plays a lead role when it comes to winning matches for RR. His hard hitting shots resemble strayed bullets and the power he generates is immense, his off breaks are handy and that’s why he opens the bowling for Rajasthan at many occasions. He is an extremely gifted player who depends on hand eye coordination. In this year’s IPL he has come of age and is delivering to his maximum ability. His 37 ball century is considered to be the most brutal innings in T20. He is averaging 34 this year with an exceptional strike rate of 173, so when he hits, the ball lands out of the park. Talking about his bowling stint, he provides his team with crucial. break through and bowls economically. He has taken five wickets so far in the IPL and his economy is 7.45 which is an exceptionally good figure according to T20 standards.
He is a safe catcher and is proving to be a good fielder as well. He played a crucial role for RR in winning IPL 1. Although he is a great hitter he has been tested with short pitched deliveries and had failed at a few occasions. Shane Warne has full faith on his hitting skills and he is their main weapon to reach semis.
2. Andrew Symonds — The colossal from Australia is a team in itself on his day, and has proved this at a few occasions. He is a spectacular player and sets a high trend with batting, bowling and his fielding. Extremely talented and controversial but his talent overpowers his other trait.
Talking about IPL 3, he is available for the whole tourney for the first time. In the previous edition he had to serve his national squad. Although he took time settling in and now has helped Deccan win two matches consecutively against Bangalore and Chennai, he is in the race for winning the orange cup with 327 runs under his belt with an average of 36 and a strike rate of 135, which is rushing ahead with forthcoming matches. His medium pace has garnered him 9 wickets with an economy of 7 runs per over, he is proving his place in the sun.
If Deccan has to reach semis then his role as a finisher will have to be utilized efficiently and effectively as he can kill any bowler at will in any format of the game.
3. Jacques Kallis (Royal Challengers Banglore) — With over 10000 runs and 200 wickets in both forms of the game and many records in his sparkling career, he proves his worth. But his failure in the previous edition had given critics a reason to debate. A great competitor that he is, he shut the mouth of all in this edition with some brilliant knocks. At one stage he was invincible as he remained unbeaten for 4 matches on a trot.
This talented right handed batsman has so far accumulated 501 runs with an astounding average of 72 and a strike rate of 130. His innings against Punjab and Mumbai were genius and elegant. His shots are conventional and a treat to watch. In bowlingÂ well, he is doing a handsome job with consistency, he has taken 7 wickets while giving nearly 8 runs an over.
4. Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians) — The leading spinner of the country is always in news for many reasons off and on the field in IPL, but in this edition he is in the headlines for his versatile skills.
His doosras and off breaks are fetching him wickets in every match. He has taken 10 wickets so far while conceding less than 7 run an over. He has been one of the reasons as to why MI is leading the point’s table. Talking about his batting, his 49 of just 19 balls won the match for Mumbai. His sixes are deadly and as big as being struck by a specialized hitter. He is giving the bowlers a hard time with his willow every time he comes to bat with Sachin’s bat in his hand.
He has transformed himself this year and is using the Indian condition in his favor and if everything continues like this he will surely help his side in winning the coveted trophy.
5. Irfan Pathan ( Kings XI)— Irfan Pathan, once the poster boy of Indian cricket and driving force of Indian attack has seen all ups and downs and if we set IPL as a parameter then the trends suggest that he is coming back to his old form. He is picking wickets while going for runs as well, and is hitting the ball all over the ground. He is continuing a good job this IPL and the sweet memories that he has in this tournament.
Although his team is out from the tournament as the big guns are repeatedly failing but the boy from Baroda is doing his task well. Till date he has 11 wickets in 11 matches with an economy of 8.80 runs per over which is a bit costly and has amassed 160 runs so far (hitting with a strike rate of over 160 which is exceptionally well). His knock of 60 against Deccan almost won the match for the kings.
His good performance was what the doctor’s ordered for this bowling all- rounder. His return to form will help India as we need quality players who can win matches for us both with the willow and with the kookaburra.
The writer is the Sports Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz and also the Political Consultant.