Top 5 all-rounders in international cricket currently
The game of cricket has come a long way since its inception. While the contest has always been dubbed as one between the bat and the ball, it has uncomfortably proceeded towards being tilted in favour of batsmen recently.
The balance between bat and ball is one that qualifies to be an eternal debate among cricket enthusiasts. However, that is not something we are going to indulge ourselves in this article. Rather, we would delve into the breed of players who have made a living performing well simultaneously in the two essential suits of the game: batting and bowling.
Over the years, all the great teams have had an all-rounder capable of making a difference with either the willow or with the ball. Garry Sobers did it for the great West Indian team whereas Jacques Kallis was a prominent figure as South Africa dominated the cricketing landscape in the late 2000s.
With the advent of T20 cricket and the evolution of ODIs, the all-rounders have assumed greater importance. Hence, in today’s day and age, it is warranted that we cast a glimpse around the globe and take a look at the best all-rounders plying their trade in international cricket.
The selections have been made taking into account all three formats while also looking primarily at players representing their country. Thus, the likes of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo have been ignored.
Without further ado, here are the best all-rounders in international cricket:
#5 Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
The young leg-spinner from Nangarhar is a surprising inclusion on this list yet those who have followed his meteoric rise would agree that his place is warranted.
Rashid shot to stardom with his bamboozling brand of leg-spin. Blessed with the ability to turn the ball both ways, his googly is as hard to pick as any and this has helped him bag truckloads of wickets in the T20 format. With him succeeding so often in the cash-rich T20 leagues, many wondered if he could replicate it in the 50-over format.
The leg-spinner answered those critics emphatically as he led Afghanistan to a place in the 2019 World Cup. While his bowling has never been in question, it is his batting that has come by leaps and bounds
In the recently concluded Asia Cup, he played a couple of useful cameos. Cameos which helped Afghanistan scale the ‘250’ peak with increasing regularity. Rashid has shown the ability and the temperament to be a difference-maker with the bat but to be truly considered in the pantheon of the lead all-rounders, he will need to come up with such performances time and again.
Though he seems to have all the ingredients to be the ace all-rounder, it would be too far-fetched to believe that he is already there. Thus, he rounds off our top 5 and makes it at No.5.