All-rounders play a pivotal role in any cricket team but their role is even more important in the shortest format of the game. Over the past few years, the IPL has witnessed many all-rounders changing the game for their respective sides.
Some of the most highly-rated all-rounders in the IPL, such as Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Watson and Hardik Pandya, have previously shown how they can turn a game on its head on multiple occasions.
IPL 2021 teams are ready to shell out huge sums of money to procure the services of the best all-rounders. Their potency with both bat and ball makes them the top picks at IPL auctions.
In this piece, we will do a thorough analysis of the all-round options available with each franchise for IPL 2021 and rank the teams accordingly.
#8 Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings have a plethora of all-rounders in their ranks. The most notable among them are new recruits, Moises Henriques and Shahrukh Khan. Kings coach Anil Kumble showered praise on Khan and even drew parallels with MI stalwart Kieron Pollard.
Both of these players were roped in during the IPL 2021 auction. While Moises fetched INR 4.2 crore, Khan won a massive bid of INR 5.25 crore.
Henriques has plenty of experience in the T20 format and has even played 57 IPL matches, in which he scored 969 runs at an average of 28.50 and strike rate of 128.17. The Aussie all-rounder also has 38 IPL wickets to his name. He last featured in the IPL back in 2017 with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and will look to make a good comeback in 2021 with the Punjab-based franchise.
Meanwhile, Jamaican Fabian Allen was also snapped up by Punjab during the auction and will be hoping to make his IPL debut. Other all-rounders in the team include Deepak Hooda and Jalaj Saxena. Jalaj has been superb in the domestic circuit but is yet to display his best in the IPL.
Chris Jordan is primarily a bowler but can also get some quick handy runs down the lower order with a few hefty blows. Overall, the Punjab Kings' all-rounders' department lacks star power. PBKS fans will be hoping that Anil Kumble and his troops can make it up in other departments as they vie for their first IPL trophy in 2021.
#7 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad retained as many as 22 players ahead of the 2021 IPL auction, thereby ensuring the crux of the squad remains the same as usual. David Warner's side have many decent all-rounder options but will surely miss Mitchell Marsh, who has withdrawn from the tournament citing personal reasons.
Three of the four overseas slots will be taken up by Rashid Khan, David Warner and one of Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow. This leaves the tough decision to pick one of Mohammad Nabi and Jason Holder. However, if the two experienced campaigners are utilized well according to conditions, it could bode well for SRH this season.
Holder was highly effective last season and ended up clinching 14 wickets in his 7 matches. Meanwhile, Abhishek Sharma and Vijay Shankar will be the Indian all-rounders in the team. Both had forgettable outings in IPL 2020 and will look to change their fortunes in the coming season.
Kedar Jadhav has also been roped into the side but is likely to get limited opportunities given the prolific top-order of SRH. He also seems well past his golden days now.
Another all-rounder, Abdul Samad played 12 matches for the SRH in 2020 but was disappointing barring a few quick cameos. The chances of getting more playing time for Samad seem slim in IPL 2021.
#6 Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals, as a franchise, have seen a massive turnaround in their fortunes ever since Ricky Ponting was appointed as the head coach. They made it to the playoffs in IPL 2019 and were runners-up in IPL 2020.
Under the able guidance of the Australian legend, Delhi Capitals will be looking to go all the way this time around. While the JSW Group-owned team has a balanced squad overall, their all-rounder's department looks rather weak.
Marcus Stoinis, Tom Curran, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Woakes and Lalit Yadav are the six all-rounders with the side. Stoinis was Delhi's go-to all-rounder in the previous season. He amassed 352 runs in 17 matches at a phenomenal strike rate of 148.52. The 31-year-old Aussie also clinched 13 wickets, albeit at an expensive economy rate of 9.53.
Axar Patel was highly economical with the ball and played a few good cameos with the bat last season. However, Axar has tested positive for Covid-19 and likely to miss out on Delhi’s first few matches.
Meanwhile, Ashwin, who has established himself as a fantastic all-rounder in Test matches, is yet to prove his mettle as an all-rounder in the IPL. Chris Woakes last played a T20 match back in August 2018 and will be the backup overseas option in the squad.
Tom Curran, who played 5 matches in Rajasthan colors last season, had a dismal economy rate of 11.44 in IPL 2020. Delhi picked up the English all-rounder for a massive sum of INR 5.25 crore and will have high hopes from him in IPL 2021.
However, the 26-year-old, whose main strength is bowling, has been leaking a lot of runs in the recent past. It will be interesting to see how he fares for his new IPL team. Lalit Yadav will be the backup Indian option in the department.
#5 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore released as many as 10 players and retained just 12 ahead of the 2021 IPL. Similar to previous editions, the RCB management have tried their level best to revamp the squad in a bid to turn around their fortunes. The biggest additions have been to their all-rounders' department.
RCB spent exorbitant amounts to procure the services of Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crore) and Daniel Christian (INR 4.8 crore). The Big Show, as Maxwell is popularly known, has always garnered giant bids at auction but is yet to prove his monies worth in the IPL.
Maxwell flopped big time last season. He could only manage 108 runs in 13 matches at a poor average of 15.42 and an unfamiliar strike rate of 101.88. If Maxwell, who has found tremendous international success, can come into his own during IPL 2021, then it will certainly be an excellent move by RCB.
37-year-old Dan Christian has played 40 IPL matches and has been brought in as a bowling all-rounder. The Aussie player has a lot of T20 experience under his belt and will be looking to share tips with youngsters in the RCB dressing room.
Kyle Jamieson has shown glimpses of his batting ability in Tests and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the IPL. The lanky Kiwi speedster, who was bought at the IPL 2021 auction for INR 15 crore, has a great opportunity to make his mark in the blockbuster T20 tournament.
Another important all-rounder in the RCB line-up is Washington Sundar, who showed his ability with the bat in the bilateral series against Australia in Jan-Feb. The trio of Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande and Daniel Sams will form backup options in the department for RCB.