Top 5 all-rounders in Indian cricket
1. Vinoo Mankad
Vinoo Mankad was probably the finest all-rounder of the era that is known for the likes of the Pataudi’s and Gavaskar’s. An attacking batsman who was extremely versatile and was made to keep changing batting positions depending on the need of the team.
As a batsman, Mankad scored 2109 runs at a healthy average for that time of 31.47 from the 44 matches he played for India. He was also more than handy bowler and as he took 162 wickets with his left arm slow spin. Mankad would often be the go-to man for skippers for his wily craft and sharp gaming tactics.
He holds the record of the only bowler to have taken 34 wickets in a series with two consecutive matches with 10+wickets. His highest individual score stands at an whooping 231 that was a record at his time and his batting heroics also include the world famous opening partnership of 431 with little known Pankaj Roy.
2. Manoj Prabhakar
Prabhakar may have had a very scandalous career before and after retirement but no one can question the value he added to the team during his playing days. The man mostly remembered for having mastered the art of reverse swing, something that the likes of only Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram were proficient at that time, the medium pacer took 97 wickets for India at the Test arena at an economy of 37.50 and 157 wickets in ODIs.
His bowling armoury included of quick bouncers, deceptive slower balls and menacing out-swingers that made him a highly regarded bowler at the World stage. As a batsman, Prabhkar was more than a useful lower order ODI batsman having scored nearly 1800 runs at an average of 24 and often used as an opener in Tests as he scored 1600 runs at an average of 32.65. He was also a part of the Indian team in as many as 3 World cups before his unceremonious exit.
3. Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri may be a popular figure for his commentary antics but at his time, he was an exceptional talent and a huge asset for the Indian team. A part of the World cup winning team under Kapil Dev and having being elected the Champion of Champions In the 1985 World Championship of cricket were the highlight of his career.
Shastri was a versatile batsman with an exceptionally strong defensive technique. He played 80 tests and 150 ODI’s for the country and scored 3830 and 3108 runs respectively. As far as his bowling is considered, he has taken 151 and 129 wickets in Tests and ODI’s respectively with his slow left arm orthodox bowling.
He may not have been the biggest turner but with his immaculate line and length as well as variations he was extremely successful in foxing batsmen. Shastri captained India in only one test and led the team to victory with his crafty thinking and changes.