Being an all-rounder in T20 cricket is a massive asset. Considering there are only 40 overs in a game, more often than not quality all-rounders are a sure-shot pick in the playing XI for their multiple talents. Over the years, the IPL too has seen some all-rounders ply their trade with rather exceptional results. There have been a number of cricketers who have been good with one department and have only chipped in with the other. In this feature though, we profile five hardcore all-rounders in the IPL.
1. Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo has been the best all-rounder to have played in the IPL by some distance. Having made his debut in the tournament during the inaugural edition in 2008, Bravo has missed all but one edition of the T20 league. Although he has represented Mumbai Indians as well in the IPL, it is at Chennai Super Kings that he turned into a ‘champion’. At his peak, Bravo’s slower balls did the trick 9 times out of 10, and he was MS Dhoni’s Man Friday. With the bat, he chipped in with numerous sizzling cameos, making use of the long handle. He remains part of CSK, but is well past his prime.
Bravo’s IPL record: Matches – 140, Runs – 1490, Wickets – 153
2. Shane Watson
Despite his prodigious talent, Shane Watson proved to be an underachiever in international cricket. Injuries did not help his cause. However, in the IPL, he was a legend in every sense of the word. He began his journey in the competition by guiding Rajasthan Royals to victory in the inaugural edition in 2008 with a stupendous all-round show – 472 runs and 17 wickets. The burly all-rounder could win matches for his franchise with both his massive hitting and incisive pace bowling. By the time he finished, he was no longer bowling, but made up for it with some incredible knocks for CSK.
Watson’s IPL record: Matches – 145, Runs – 3874 (4 hundreds), Wickets – 92
3. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is such an exceptional fielder, he can make it to any T20 team on the basis of that quality alone. However, the all-rounder is more than efficient with both bat and ball. Jadeja is so quick with his bowling, by the time the batsmen figure out, he would have run through with his over. His accuracy with his left-arm spin is also incredibly good although he had a rare off-season last year. When it comes to batting, the left-hander can play the brutal cameos that often make the difference between victory and defeat. Making a comeback from injury, CSK would hope he isn’t rusty.
Jadeja’s IPL record: Matches – 184, Runs – 2159, Wickets – 114
4. Andre Russell
If you’ve never understood the phrase, ‘when he hits the ball, it stays hit’, you must watch the highlights of some of Andre Russell’s blistering knocks in the IPL. In the 2019 edition of the tournament, he single-handedly won games for KKR with his awe-inspiring hitting. On more than one occasion during the season, it seemed as if Kolkata needed a miracle to win a contest. In walked Russell and pulled it off. On his day, Russell’s fabulous big-hitting has no match. His pace bowling fades in comparison. However, the tall West Indies is a reasonably good bowler, who can chip in with crucial wickets.
Russell’s IPL record: Matches – 74, Runs – 1517, Wickets – 61
5. Albie Morkel
Along with Watson and Bravo, South Africa’s Albie Morkel was a highly successful all-rounder in the early years of the IPL. While he also represented Delhi, Pune and Bangalore in the T20 league, it was under Dhoni at CSK that he flourished. Morkel was used smartly as an opening bowler, and delivered crucial blows for the franchise with his medium-pace. With the bat, he was capable of getting the big hits in the death overs. For a few years, he was rated highly in the T20 league. Morkel featured in every edition from 2008 to 2016, and finished his career with a strike rate of 141.98 with the bat and 20.27 with the ball.
Morkel’s IPL record: Matches – 91, Runs – 974, Wickets – 85