India’s best prospects for an all-rounder

Published 10/22/2015, 12:11 PM EDT
Axar Patel and Jadeja


 

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As we all know, cricket has evolved a lot from the times when the batsmen and bowlers were in the team just to bat and bowl respectively. Today is the world of all-rounders, an area where India is currently struggling. India has a lot of prospects but none of them have proved their mettle yet. So the question everyone is asking is who is the all-rounder that India are in dire need of ? We take a look at the various options available.
Jadeja is more than a handy batsman and is famous for his hitting abilities down the order. His speciality as a bowler is his impeccable line and length and the ability to turn the ball just enough to put the batsman in trouble. He has 144 wickets and 1804 runs in from 121 ODIs and he was one of the heroes of the ICC Champions Trophy which India won in 2013. However, the last two years have been rather bad for him and he is currently warming the bench.

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Patel is very similar to Jadeja and has been performing quite well recently and has actually replaced Jadeja. Though he hasn’t showed his prowess with the bat but he surely has made up for it with the ball. He bowls flatter and faster as compared to Jadeja and hence has been more successful only on turning-pitches. Axar has been performing well in the ongoing Gandhi-Mandela series. Axar has 27 wickets and 82 runs from the 20 ODIs he has played.
It would be a shame if his name doesn’t turn up in this list of all-rounders as he is one of the best that India has ever produced. Though he has been out of the game for long but we all know what he is capable of. The hero of the 2007 T20 world cup and 2011 ODI World Cup, Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through a lot to make a comeback. He has been performing well in the Ranji Trophy and the onus is on the selectors now to give him a chance in the team. Yuvraj has 8329 runs and 111 wickets from 293 ODIs.
The son of former Indian all-rounder Roger Binny, Stuart Binny has been trying to do what his father did for the team. He is a batting all-rounder who bowls medium pace. Binny relies on a stump-to-stump line which makes him difficult to get away from. He has performed well at the domestic level but hasn’t come into his own at the International level yet. Bowling speed in the 120’s has been his major problem as he is taken apart on pitches which do not offer him assistance. He holds the record for the best bowling performance by an Indian in ODIs picking up 6 wickets giving away just 4 runs against Bangladesh.
Rishi Dhawan has been a revelation at the domestic level and is developing as an all-rounder. He is young and is desperate to play for his country. He is a fast bowling all-rounder. Dhawan has been peforming consistently in the IPL and also has an excellent List-A career. Dhawan has 818 runs and 64 wickets in 48 List-A matches.
In my opinion, Yuvraj needs to be given more chances at the International level as he is excellent with the bat and also is no mug with the ball which he has proved time and time again. His slow left-arm spin is what allowed India to play only four specialist bowlers in the 2011 World Cup. He just needs more chances to come back to his prime. If not Yuvraj, Jadeja should fill that spot as he has a lot of experience and a dry patch shouldn’t overshadow the goods he has done for the team. Also, Rishi Dhawan should be given an opportunity as he has been knocking on the door for a long time.

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Lakshya Raheja

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