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The importance of all-rounders

A look at the players who displayed prowess in both departments in the year that has just gone by

The importance of all-rounders

The importance of an all-rounder in one-day cricket can hardly be overemphasised. The coaches of modern era, therefore, lay particular emphasis on having one or more players who can excel with both the bat and ball. They give depth to the batting lineup and variety to the bowling attack.

In this piece, we have a look at the players who displayed prowess in both departments in the year that has just gone by.

Our very own Shahid Afridi served the country well in One-day Internationals during the year. He scored 354 runs in 16 matches at an average of over 27, hitting three fifties, many a time guiding the team to victory with the willow. Who can forget those two match-winning innings in the Asia Cup against India and Bangladesh last year! Besides, the 34-year-old flamboyant cricketer was the highest wicket-taker for the country with 16 victims in as many games.

Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh scored 289 runs in 12 matches at an average of almost 29. The 27-year-old man, who is rightly regarded as the finest player Bangladesh has ever produced, captured 21 wickets, the highest for his country during the year.

Thisara Perera of Sri Lanka struck 395 runs at an average of over 24 and also shined with the ball by dismissing 24 batsmen in as many matches.

His captain Angelo Mathews gave a stellar performance with the bat during the year by scoring 1244 runs at an outstanding average of 62 runs. He was also effective with the ball, grabbing 18 wickets in 32 matches.

During the year, the Australian selectors found that they have a youngster who could prove to be an asset for them as was Steve Waugh in the 1990s and Shane Watson has been for the last decade.

James Faulkner was the highest wicket-taker for them with 19 victims from 14 matches and 262 runs at an average of 43. His compatriot Glen Maxwell was also quite impressive, as he scored 380 runs at an average of 25 runs and had 16 victims in 17 matches.

West Indies’ DJ Bravo excelled for them as he has been doing for many years. He accumulated 415 runs at an average of 46 and grabbed 20 wickets from just 13 games.

England discovered a fine all-rounder in Moin Ali, who scored for them 421 runs at an average of 35 and also took 10 wickets in 12 matches.

South Africa’s JP Duminy continued to deliver as an all-rounder. He scored 311 runs at an average of 38 — excellent for a man who gets to play the last few overs owing to a formidable top and middle order — and also captured 10 wickets in 14 matches.

But the most impressive all-round performance of the year was given by Ravindra Jadeja. The 26-year-old left-arm all-rounder scored 369 runs at a mind-boggling average of 61 runs in 17 games, crossing the 50-run mark four times during the year.

Jadeja, who made his debut in 2009, grabbed as many as 25 wickets, the second highest for his country, behind Mohammad Shami.

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