5 All-rounders who are ruling limited overs cricket at the moment.

Unlike other sports, cricket has been blessed with this tradition of all-rounders, who act as a connecting link between two prominent departments of the game. International teams always look to accommodate 2 or 3 all-rounders in their line-up and provide the requisite flexibility with respect to options and overall balance of the team. The presence of an all-rounder never goes down the drain as the player is bestowed with two opportunities to leave his stellar impact on the game.

Their role becomes even more important in the limited-overs formats as the opposition looks to go after the team from the get-go and often puts the side under duress. The strike bowlers or specialist batsmen are bound to succumb under the pressure applied and make it increasingly impossible for the team to get back. It is this when the all-rounders get into the action and turn the tide in their favour either with an influential spell or all-out striking with the bat. With the changing dynamics of the game, and it’s augmented propensity towards batsmen, the role of all-rounders in recent times has become large and significant. In the below piece, we look at 5 such all-rounders who are dominating limited-overs cricket in recent times:

1. Chris Woakes

Woakes is slowly and steadily climbing up the ladder as far as an all-round contribution is concerned. His ability to stick to tight lines and lengths and valuable lower-order additions has seen him cement his place in the England side across formats.

Featuring in 103 ODIs, Woakes has scored 1315 runs at an average of 25.78 and strike rate of 90.88 and picked 149 wickets at an average of 30.34 and economy rate of 5.54. While in 8 T20Is, he has contributed 91 runs at an average of 30.3 and a phenomenal strike rate of 144.44 and also scalped 7 wickets.

In the last few years, we have seen several bowlers debuting for England and contributing in their own way to the team’s cause. Woakes has been mindful of it and thus, is grabbing all the chances that are coming his way, reserving his place as the second specialist bowling all-rounder in the team.

2. Ravindra Jadeja

We recently saw the star Indian all-rounder swinging his willow and depositing the ball to far distances in the stands in the limited-overs series against Australia. While the rest of the batsmen struggled, Jadeja managed to strike everything off the sweet spot of his bat and turned heads with his performances.

In 168 ODIs, Jadeja has mustered 2411 runs at an average of 32.58 and strike rate of 87.07 and scalped 188 wickets at an average of 37.36. While in 50 T20Is, he has hit 217 runs at a strike rate of 112.44 and picked 39 wickets at an average of 29.54.

He is a potential wicket-taker with the red ball but when it comes to white-ball, he is more of a defensive customer who holds one end up. If he can up the tally of wickets in the format, there is no force which can stop him from scaling some unthinkable heights.

3. Thisara Perera

A powerful striker of the cricket ball, Thisara is doing a wonderful job for this Sri Lankan team, who is still in the building phase of his cricketing chapter. His deceptive medium pace bowling has been the reason for several downfalls in world cricket.

In 164 ODIs, Thisara has struck 2316 runs at a strike rate of 112.59 and also picked 172 wickets at an average of 59.36. While in 81 T20Is, he has hammered 1201 runs at a strike rate of 152.6 and dismissed 51 batsmen at an average of 32.84.

Given the fluctuating nature of the format, we would often see Thisara leaking a few runs or getting out in a silly fashion. But the selectors and management have complete faith in the cricketer and believe his best days are yet to come which will change the nook and corner of Lankan cricket and propel them in the right direction.

4. Dwaine Pretorius

This tall all-rounder from South Africa is progressing in the right way forward to reach the enormous heights scaled by former African greats like Kallis, Klusener, Halls etc. His effective striking and medium pace bowling is coming of great help to the team in crunch moments.

Pretorius has contributed 135 runs at a strike rate of 93.1 and scalped 29 wickets at an average of 28.03 in 22 ODI games. While in 11 T20Is, he has powered 135 runs at an unbelievable strike rate of 168.75 and picked 11 wickets at an average of 34.86.

The country is fortunate enough to have a few all-rounders at their disposal, who could be used according to the match situation. It is now upon Pretorius to perform on a consistent basis and keep his place, turning the vague assumption into much-desired reality.

5. Glenn Maxwell

Known predominantly for his blitzkrieg batting, Maxwell has worked on his bowling skills and come up as an effective off-spin option in the middle overs to complement the likes of Zampa or a Stoinis.

Maxwell has blasted 3230 runs at a strike rate of 125.44 and got the better of 51 batsmen at an economy rate of 5.67 in 116 ODI fixtures. While in 67 T20Is, he has clobbered 1687 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 157.96 and picked 29 wickets at an average of 26.66.

In the recent series against India, skipper Finch used him as a wicket-taking option opening the bowling innings for the team. Maxwell made the most of this opportunity as he impressed the cricketing world by contributing in both the aspects and kept the Indians reeling in a series they were deemed as favourites.

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