Say if you are a key member of a franchise's management like the Rajasthan Royals or the Sunrisers and you are designated to pick the right team for your season campaign. What will you looking for in your locker room and how will you select a playing XI which should possess all the necessary qualities as a team to succeed in a tough T20 competition like the IPL?
I can safely assume that a crucial priority of yours will be getting just the best mix of players where every team member should be quite familiar with his role in the team and should be capable enough to do justice with the assigned responsibility in the toughest of situations.
A wicket-keeper batsman aside, you have 10 slots and you have to assign these spots with some quality top & middle-order batsmen, pacers and spinners. This is task tough but don't worry. This is where an all-rounder comes to your rescue.
An all-rounder's ability to perform both with the bat as well as the ball makes him/her a very crucial asset for the team. An able all-rounder provides the team management with a window to strengthen both the bowling and batting department by taking just one slot in the team. He/she allows you to play an extra batsman without having to worry about your bowling department and vice-versa.
In the 1st edition of IPL way back in 2008, an uncapped all-rounder named Ravindra Jadeja played an instrumental role to anchor the Royals towards victory and last year, the veteran Shane Watson dismantled the lethal SRH bowling department in the final match by hammering a splendid century to guide the CSK to the trophy.
In this piece, we'll be discussing the top 5 experienced all-rounders in IPL 2019 to look forward to. Let's commence.
#1 Shane Watson
Any discussion upon match-winners in cricket is incomplete if you don't mention this gentleman. One of the finest all-rounders to grace this sport, Watson's skills as a terrific all-rounder and his passion to perform to the best of his abilities in the toughest of situations make him a very special cricketer.
Watson has been splendid in T20 cricket. Although he retired from international cricket, he has been a regular feature in some of the major T20 tournaments around the globe like BBL and IPL to name a few. Last year he took the game away from the SRH in the final match of the season where he hammered a glorious knock of 117 runs off 57 deliveries with 11 fours and 8 sixes.
#2 Sunil Narine
If you are looking for a must-have all-rounder to include in your T20 squad, look no further. A lethal mix of sublime spin bowling and aggressive left-handed batsman, Narine has been one of the star attractions of any T20 tournament he has been a part of. He has featured in almost every single major T20 competitions like the BBL and the CPL to name a few.
From 2012 onwards, Sunil Narine has been playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and each year, he delivers in his role. Last year, not only did he open innings to provide the KKR with a great start by hammering some quickfire knocks, he shined with the ball as well. In the 16 matches that he played last year, he scored 357 runs with jaw-dropping strike rate of 189.89 and also scalped 17 wickets.
Last season, he was the best player of the tournament in the list of valuable players with 379.5 points to his name.
#3 Ben Stokes
Widely regarded for his ability to wreak havoc with the willow and to put the best of the batting line-ups in hot water as a well-versed pacer, Ben Stokes has always been a star-attraction of the IPL.
In 2017, Stokes became the most expensive overseas player of the tournament when the Rising Pune Supergiants loosened their wallets by a whopping amount of Rs. 14.5 crores. He provided the team with 12 crucial wickets and vital knocks including a ton and a fifty. Last year, he was hired by the Royals for a staggering amount of Rs. 12.5 crores. He was not in his best touch as he managed to score only 196 runs in 13 games and scalped 8 wickets.
Given the phenomenal talent that he is, the Royals retained him for this season. Looking forward to making amends, he is all set to make an impact this year and prove the franchise's trust in him.
#4 Rashid Khan
T20 cricket is a different dimension. Often considered as a batsman-friendly game, recent times have shown otherwise. Bowlers have come up with innovation, new techniques and different strategies to prevail over batsmen and this man from Afghanistan embodies all the qualities required in a bowler to succeed in this format of the game.
A drive to be the best combined with hard work and self-belief has propelled Rashid to the #1 spot in the ICC's list of best T20 Bowlers on the planet. Although Rashid is a young lad, he has a vast amount of experience he has garnered from playing major T20 tournaments like BBL, CPL and IPL to mention a few.
Not only has he troubled the best of batsmen with his innovative style of wrist spin entwined with the added element of pace, but he has also been great with the bat as well on numerous occasion. A fearless cricketer by nature, Rashid has delivered some magnificent cameos with the willow as well.
Last IPL season, he donned the SRH jersey and impressed everyone with his skills. He scalped 21 wickets in 17 games and earned the respect of experts as well as fans. It will be interesting to see how he fares as an all-rounder in this season.
#5 Yuvraj Singh
A true inspiration to millions, the cancer survivor and the Man of the Tournament in the 2011 ICC World Cup, Yuvraj Singh is all set to join the Mumbai Indians squad this season with the intentions of proving his mettle on a cricket ground.
Yuvraj's international cricketing career was very impressive. The aggressive southpaw earned the reputation of a batsman capable enough to not only take on the best bowling attack but to destroy it as well. In T20 cricket, Yuvraj holds a fantastic career, both with the bat and the ball.
Recent IPL seasons haven't been very well for him. Once the man to get Rs 14 crores to play for RCB in 2014 and the most expensive player ever to be sold in the IPL at Rs.16 crores to Delhi Daredevils in 2015, for this season he went unsold in the first round of auctions. Later, he was bought by the MI for his base price of Rs 1 crore.
Yuvraj has a lot to prove this season. He has justified his talents with performances so many times in his career and this time, he is up for the task again.