All-rounders

It is believed that everyone is blessed with a special trait. Cricketers aren’t any different with some exceptionally good at batting while others are technically skilful with the ball. But there are some fine exceptions, popularly referred to as ‘all-rounders’.

All-rounders are like superglue that appends any cricket team and carries the load of both, batting and bowling department. Over the years, there have been a few, gifted enough to be considered all-rounders.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 6 greatest all-round performances by players in international cricket. Here’s the list:

6. Yuvraj Singh (vs England, 2008)

Yuvraj Singh vs England in 2008

Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. On November 17, 2008, he had smashed 118 off 122 balls against England to take India to a decent score of 292/9. His comprised of 15 fours and 2 sixes.

After successfully performing in one department, Yuvraj justified his all-rounder tag by pulling off another masterclass in the bowling department. He returned figures of 4/28 as India thrashed the Three Lions by 54 runs in Indore.

5. Shakib Al Hasan (vs Zimbabwe, 2014)

Shakib Al Hasan vs Zimbabwe in 2014

Shakib is unarguably the greatest players to represent Bangladesh and one of the best all-rounders in the world currently. During the second Test of Zimbabwe’s tour of Bangladesh in 2014, Shakib produced one of the best all-round performances in international cricket.

Leading 1-0 in the series, Bangladesh piled on the runs on Zimbabwe after winning the toss. The hosts scored 433 in the first innings on the back of a masterful century by Shakib Al Hasan. He scored 137 smashing 18 fours and 2 sixes.

In reply, Zimbabwe did put on a good show but Shakib was too handle for them. He returned figures of 5/80 as Bangladesh took a valuable lead of 65 runs. Though he did fail to shine with the bat in the second innings, Shakib took his frustration out on the Zimbabwean batsmen, taking his second fifer of the match as Bangladesh won by 162 runs.

4. Paul Collingwood (vs Bangladesh, 2005)

Paul Collingwood vs Bangladesh in 2005

Paul Collingwood is one of the most decorated England cricketers, having guided them to their first-ever T20 World Cup glory, back in 2010. On June 21, 2005, Collingwood also produced one of the best all-round performances in ODI cricket.

Collingwood smashed 112 off 86 balls against Bangladesh as England managed to put a mammoth total of 391/4. If his efforts with the bat weren’t. He also took 6/31 off his 10 overs as England won the game by 168 runs.

3. Ravichandran Ashwin (vs England in 2021)

R Ashwin vs England in 2021

This is the most recent incident when an all-rounder decided to take the game to the opposition. With more than 300 wickets in Test cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the greatest spinners ever produced by India.

Much to say about his bowling but his batting isn’t bad either. He proved exactly that during England’s visit to India for a full-fledged series earlier this year. After being thrashed by England in the first Test, India needed a win to keep their WTC final hopes alive.

After winning the toss, India opted to bat first in Chennai. Rohit Sharma slammed 161 off 231 balls as India made 329 runs in their first innings. With the onus now on the bowlers, Ashwin took 5/43 as England were bowled out for 134, trailing India by 195 runs.

India came out to bat with a hefty first-innings lead but were restricted to 106/6. However, Ashwin and Virat Kohli steadied their ship with the former scoring 148-ball 106 to put India in the driving seat. Ashwin then took another three wickets as India won the game 317 runs.

2. Sir Viv Richards (vs New Zealand, 1987)

Sir Viv Richards vs New Zealand in 1987

Sir Vivian Richards changed the face of the gentlemen’s game as dominating bowlers wasn’t a common feature during those days. Furthermore, Richards was the first was the first-ever cricketer in ODI history to score a century and take a fifer in the same match.

On 18 March 1987, West Indies lost the toss and were put in to bat first by New Zealand at Dunedin. The Windies were reeling at 50/3 before Viv Richards came on and smashed 119 of 113 balls, including 10 boundaries and 4 sixes.

Chasing a total of 238, the Kiwis were bowled out for a paltry 142 runs as Richards took 5/41 from his quota of 10 overs, guiding West Indies to a 95-run win.

1. Sir Ian Botham (vs India, 1980)

Sir Ian Botham

Sir Ian Botham, unarguably one of the greatest players to have graced the sport, showcased his class during a one-off Test between England and India in 1980. Batting first, India could only manage a total of 242 as Botham ran through their batting order, taking 6/58.

England, however, started their first innings losing early wickets and were reduced to 58/5 before Botham decided to shift the dynamics in the visitors’ favour. He scored 114 runs as England took a 54-run lead.

In the second innings, Botham took 7/48 as India were bowled out for paltry 149 runs. Chasing a target of 96, England won the game by 10 wickets.

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