- The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket so far has produced no less than an intriguing contest between the eight equally competitive teams where none can lay claim to being superior to others. Equations are such that each of the teams possesses a few of the most devastating cricketers who could change the complexion of the game in a matter of few overs. It could be through an inspired spell of bowling, unbelievable pyrotechnics while batting, and awe-inspiring athleticism while fielding resulting in run-outs or spectacular catches. There are always those gravity-defying exploits that propel the team to excel overcoming all odds.
- People in the know about the dynamics of cricket would not mind seconding when mentioned about the incalculable value any quality all-rounder brings to the team. These incredibly talented cricketers are the most wanted tribes’ where the franchise owners would not flinch in splurging unheard of money to get them on board. Of course, world-class all-rounders come at a premium as there are very few available in the circuit to inspire franchises’ to go for them at any cost. Needless to mention, what these players bring to the table can be summed up succinctly as two for the cost of one. That is the real worth of all-rounders.
- The inclusion of quality all-rounders in a cricket team tremendously lends balance to the composition of the team allowing the luxury of including an extra batsman or a bowler in the playing eleven thereby giving an additional option for the captain. The shortest format of the game ensures most of the teams are primarily composed of one or two quality all-rounders, few bits and pieces players, and few specialists. This ensures a definite balance for the team. As the ongoing edition of the IPL progresses ahead, there are few things noticeable even for the not so enthusiastic followers cooped up in the comforts of homes watching the games.
PC: Catalyst Hemant
- One of the most improved and consistently performing all-rounders on the cricketing firmament in the last couple of years, and all formats of the game is none other than Chennai Super Kings stalwart Ravindra Jadeja. The southpaw has made such impactful giant strides that it is unbelievable to watch him defy time-tested beliefs through an extraordinary display of craftsmanship. The most visible improvement in Jadeja’s game has been his consistency while batting lending incredible fire-power to the team’s cause while setting a target or chasing them.
- Add to it the guiles of a spinner and mesmerizing fielding, a complete package worthy of every pound spent on him. Amazing talent indeed. His blazing knock the other day against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, especially against pacer Harshal Patel, would have left everybody wondering when the hurricane came and left. He massacred 37 runs in one over, took 3 wickets, and spectacularly ran out a batsman during the match. Precisely such exploits separate quality all-rounders from bits and pieces players. If he continues in the same vein, there is no doubt Jadeja emerging as the most valuable player of the 14th IPL.