All-rounders have always fascinated the cricket fans because of their 3-dimensional abilities. Andrew Flintoff’s exceptional performance in the 2005 Ashes is still imbibed in cricket aficionados memory as he dismantled the opposition not only with his fiery bowling but also contributed some useful runs with the bat.One pertinent question regarding the all-rounders has been which player qualifies to be called an all-rounder. One theory in response to the question has been that an all-rounder should be able to get into the team as a batsman as well as a bowler.Statistically, an all-rounder should ideally have his bowling average lower than his batting average. Cricket has seen some great all-rounders like Kapil Dev, Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Richard Headley, Jacques Kallis. Currently, the league of all-rounders has names like Shakib Al Hasan, Shane Watson, Ben Stokes, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Mitchell Marsh, Dwayne Bravo etc. But more names could prop up in this list if given adequate chances. Here are they:
#1 Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin is one guy who bats with so much ease that it is sometimes hard to believe that his primary role in the team is that of a bowler. An opener in his early cricketing days, he has a lot of class when he bats as seen in the numerous games he has played.
He has already passed the 1000 run mark in Tests with 1009 runs in 25 Tests at an impressive average of 36.03 with a couple of centuries. With India willing to play five bowlers in Test cricket and ODIs, Ashwin’s role is surely going to change.
There are multifarious advantages of playing him at number seven some of them being that India can afford an extra seamer in overseas conditions and an extra spinner in Indian conditions which adds a lot of penetration to the bowling. With the talent he has, he can surely become one of the better all-rounders in the world if given the chance.
#2 Jason Holder
The lanky seamer from Barbados has impressed everyone with his exploits in international cricket so far. Primarily a fast bowler, he has already played some handy innings with the bat in his short stint at the highest level.
Jason Holder has a Test average of 34.54 in eight Test matches which includes a match-saving hundred against England earlier this year which later helped the Caribbeans in levelling the series against them. He is not a one-dimensional batsman and is also capable of playing some explosive innings which he has shown in some of his ODI knocks.
With West Indies currently struggling to find good bowlers, if he can bat at number seven, then it will allow his team to play that extra bowler and thus pick up 20 wickets needed to win a Test match. With the talent and grit he has, it would not be a surprise to see his name amongst great all-rounders in coming years if given right chances.
#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is another guy who has made his name primarily as a bowler but is more than capable as a batsman. During the England tour in 2014, he scored more runs than Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, a stat showing his batting prowess.
He has a Test average of 26.20 with three half-centuries which helped India come out of trouble in tricky situations. Bhuvneshwar has also scored a first-class century where he made 128 runs batting at number 8 in a Duleep Trophy semi-final in 2012-13 showing he can deliver with the bat on big occasions.
With India currently struggling for a seam bowling all-rounder, can he be the guy who can solve India’s problems? He has surely shown that he can play some crucial innings when the team requires his contribution. Himself and Ashwin can surely become the two allrounders who can make India a more balanced side, one all-rounder being a spinner and the other all-rounder being a seamer.
#4 Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid is a right handed batsman more renowned for his leg breaks. An allrounder who plays his first-class cricket for Yorkshire, he has come under the English selectors radar as he played against New-Zealand in the recently concluded ODI series and was highly impressive with both bat and ball. He bamboozled the Kiwi batsmen with his leg breaks and googlies and was pretty handy with the bat playing in the lower middle order.
A seasoned campaigner in first-class cricket, in the 136 first-class games he has picked 399 wickets and scored 5466 runs. A batting average of 35.66 with a bowling average of 34.20 make him a pretty handy all-rounder.
He will be given stiff competition from the likes of Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes for the place of an all-rounder in the team, but he can surely deliver the goods for England if given regular chances in all the formats.
#5 Nasir Hossain
Nasir Hossain is a 23-year-old Bangladeshi all-rounder who bats in the lower middle order and bowls some handy off-breaks. He is a regular part of the Bangladeshi ODI team and has played in 17 Tests.
He has a Test batting average of 37.34 and an ODI batting average of 34.00. He is an attacking batsman capable of destroying bowling attacks on his day and becomes a complete cricketer with his handy off-breaks and superb fielding.
Though Bangladesh are using him mainly as a lower order hitter and a fifth bowler, he has the capabilities to be a better cricketer. If Bangladesh can play him slightly above his current batting position, he can set up games for them with his aggressive batting and the pressure on his bowling will also reduce. With the side having a left arm allrounder in Shakib-Al-Hasan, a right-handed all-rounder will be a welcome addition to their composition. He can prove to be a great asset.