An allrounder in One Day International (ODI) cricket is akin to a Swiss Army knife in a cricket team – versatile, indispensable, and capable of performing multiple roles. Allrounders provide a crucial balance between batting and bowling.
They contribute significantly with both bat and ball, allowing teams to field a well-rounded side and adapt to various match situations. Allrounders add depth to the bowling attack.
They can be used strategically, not just as wicket-takers but also as economical bowlers. This flexibility can be pivotal in limiting the opposition's runs.
1) Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya revolutionized opening batting with his aggressive approach. His ability to dominate bowlers right from the outset, coupled with a wide range of shots, made him a nightmare for opposition bowlers. His explosive style laid the foundation for Sri Lanka's success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to his batting, Jayasuriya was a more-than-handy left-arm spinner. His accurate deliveries and subtle variations often broke partnerships and provided crucial breakthroughs for his team.
The Sri Lankan legend has scored 1220 runs in 25 Asia Cup matches and has played at a batting average of 53.04. On the bowling front, Jayasuriya has picked up 22 wickets while maintaining an economy of 4.48.
2) Sachin Tendulkar
It is a surprise to see the greatest batsman of all time, Sachin Tendulkar name on the list but he has been one of the best all-rounders in the Asia Cup. Tendulkar has been a valuable contributor in the Asia Cup victories of team India in 1990, 1995, and 2010 with both his bat and ball.
In 23 Asia Cup matches, Tendulkar has scored 971 runs at an average of 51.10 with 7 fifties and 2 hundreds. On the balling front, Tendulkar has picked up 17 wickets while maintaining an economy of 4.76 and an average of 21.41.
3) Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib's ability to anchor an innings or accelerate the run rate, depending on the situation, is a hallmark of his batting prowess. As a left-arm spinner, Shakib's guile and control over the ball are impressive. He has the knack of picking up crucial wickets in the middle overs, stifling the opposition's progress.
Overall in 13 Asia Cup matches, Shakib has scored 402 runs at an average of 33.50 and a strike rate of 103.70. With the ball, Shakib has picked up 19 wickets while maintaining an economy of 4.87. For a long time, Shakib has been an anchor for Bangladesh cricket and he is probably at the end of the cricketing journey.
4) Shahid Afridi
A player like Shahid Afridi is only witnessed once in a lifetime. Famously known as “Boom Boom Afridi” was a major fear in the hearts of some of the best bowlers in the world. It was later in his career he excelled as an allrounder for Pakistan.
In Asia Cup, Afridi has scored 532 runs in 23 matches at an average of 35.46 and he has also picked up 14 wickets at an economy of 4.96. Afridi’s absence can be still felt in Pakistan's cricket.
5) Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik's batting prowess is characterized by his ability to adapt to various match situations. He can stabilize the innings under pressure or launch a counter-attack with his wide array of strokes. Malik's off-spin bowling has been a valuable asset for Pakistan.
He offers his captain a reliable bowling option, often breaking crucial partnerships with his subtle variations and astute control over line and length. Overall he has scored 786 runs in 17 Asia Cup matches at an average of 65.50 and has also picked up 12 wickets at an economy of 4.25.