Friday, December 02, 2005

On all-rounders

Here's something I posted as a comment on that fantastic Cricinfo blog, Different Strokes, and thought it might be worthwhile posting about it here, so that maybe some of you could give me your opinions on the issue.

It's no surprise, with the slew of ODI cricket played on the subcontinent, that the average cricket fan began looking at the bits-and-pieces cricketer as an all-rounder. You say, the key point is "Can you walk into the side on the basis of a a single skill alone?" Although that seems to be the fashionable definition at the moment, it leads one to ponder a number of things. Would you let a batsman averaging 30 be a test match regular? Would you let a bowler averaging 35 with the ball be a test match regular? Both of the above figures are definitely not the worse in the world, mind you, but in a side where the rest of the batsmen score 40-50 runs per knock and in a side where the rest of the bowlers give about 20-25 runs apiece before claiming a wicket, would these players walk into the side purely as a batsman or a bowler respectively? I would think not. So, either Kapil Dev and Sir Gary were not all-rounders, or, there is a need to revisit our definition. A convenient way to gloss over this by further qualifying the all rounder as a batting or bowling all-rounder, but to my mind, that just takes you one step closer to the much maligned bit-and-pieces all rounder or more appropriately, a part time allrounder, a la Steve Waugh or Sachin Tendulkar.


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