5 best all-rounders in Indian cricket team till date
The best all-rounders to grace the golden pages of Indian cricket history.
An ‘Indian All-Rounder’ has almost been an alien term to the cricket world over the years. The job of finding a player with equally supreme batting, bowling and fielding abilities in India is like searching for a Diamond in a coal mine, no matter how vast it is.
There were many Indian players in the early 20th century who were termed as all-rounders. However, they were either batsmen who could bowl a bit or bowlers who could bat a bit. And then there was another category who neither specialised in batting nor in bowling. All they could do was to bat a bit and bowl a bit.
Lala Amarnath was the first Indian player to be recognised as an all-rounder worldwide as he was the first Indian to claim 5 wickets and score a 50 in the same Test match. However, he was more of a batsman than a bowler in the early part of his career. But, his batting deteriorated with time and he became more of a bowler.
There were other examples too in the likes of Dattu Phadkar, Manoj Prabhakar, Polly Umrigar and others. However, none of them had such prolific records both as a batsman and as a bowler. They either specialised in bowling or in batting.
Let us now have a look at the five best all-rounders in Indian Cricket history till date.
#5 Irfan Pathan
The younger one of the Pathan brothers, Irfan, made his international debut for India way before Yusuf Pathan and soon became one of the faces of Indian Cricket. His hat-trick against Pakistan in a Test match at Multan is still one of the most cherished memories for the Indian Cricket fans.
He started off as a left-arm medium fast bowler and soon grabbed everyone's attention with his wicket-taking ability. What made him more attractive as a player was his hard hitting batting skills. India even fielded him as an all-rounder who opened the bowling and batted in the middle order for a fair part of his career.
However, he lost the firepower in his bowling after a series of injuries and gradually fell out of contention of the squad. His statistics as an all-rounder still remain impressive, though.
In 29 Tests, he has 1105 runs and 100 wickets to his name at averages of 31.89 and 32.86 respectively. It includes one century and nine half-centuries as well. His ODI numbers also make a good read with 1544 runs and 173 wickets to his name at averages of 23.39 and 29.72 in 120 matches.