All-rounders are the core of any team or franchise as they bring in a considerable amount of balance to the side. Indian Premier League, which is the greatest T20 league the game and the fans have ever witnessed, there have been all-rounders who possessed the ability to render their best show when the team was in desperate need.
Not just once, but on a number of occasions, be it with their batting or bowling prowess, thereby guiding their franchise onto the road of success
Let’s take a brief look at the five greatest all-rounders in IPL history.
Kieron Pollard ( 2756 Runs, 56 Wickets )
The Caribbean giant has been one of the biggest match-winners for Mumbai Indians in the four editions (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019) that they emerged meritorious in the end.
In fact, some fans rate him a level above Hardik or Rohit in terms of the impact he brings when in full flow.
In the 2013 edition, he scored 60* off 32 versus CSK, and helped the Mumbai Indians grab the maiden trophy in IPL finals.
In 2015, once again, he scored in excess of 400 runs and played a key role in the finals, scoring 18-ball 36 against Chennai Super Kings.
In 2017 edition, it was the one man show versus Royal Challengers Bangalore in the league stage, wherein he struck a blistering 70 off 45 deliveries to guide Rohit & Co. to an almost impossible victory.
And recently, it was his 41* off 25 balls in the finals of 2019 edition, which helped Mumbai Indians post in excess of 140 runs in the finals that they eventually won by a margin of 1-run.
Though it’s been some time since he last bowled, he still holds over 50 wickets to his name while maintaining an economy of 8.83. Truly, an iconic player in T20 cricket.
Shane Watson ( 3575 Runs, 92 Wickets )
If not for Shane Watson, then Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings would have found it difficult to win titles in the 2008 and 2018 editions respectively.
Man of the tournament in the inaugural season of IPL, Watson racked 472 runs while averaging 47.20 and picked 17 wickets to his name. Batting at No 4 in the 1st Semi-Finals, the Aussie all-rounder whacked a match-winning 25-ball 52 against Delhi Daredevils, assuring his team, Rajasthan Royals, a place in the finals they eventually won.
In the 2018 edition, he was roped by Dhoni & Co. who promoted him at the opening slot wherein he amassed 555 runs at an average of 39.64, with 2 centuries and as many half-centuries. His knock of 117* off 57 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the finals helped the Men in Yellow secure their 3rd title in IPL.
Andre Russell ( 1400 Runs, 55 Wickets )
It surely won’t surprise many to see Andre Russell’s name among the greatest all-rounders to have competed in the Indian T20 tournament.
Russell played for the Delhi Daredevils till 2013, since then, has been with the Kolkata Knight Riders, and has played a key role in their victories to date.
A middle-order batsman who strikes anything in his radar, the Jamaican cricketer had a dream run as an all-rounder in the 2019 edition of IPL.
Batting at a strike rate of 204.82 and averaging 56.66, Dre Russ aggregated 510 runs that comprised 31 fours and 52 sixes. He was equally effective with the ball, grabbing 11 wickets while averaging 26.09.
He has got the attention of the fans who are rooting to witness the Russell Muscle in UAE.
Dwayne Bravo ( 1487 Runs, 147 Wickets )
Bowling wise, he is among the most skilled bowlers to have played in T20 cricket, especially the IPL.
He was the highest wicket-taker in the 2013 edition of IPL, wherein he scraped 32 wickets at an average of 15.53, followed by a 26-wicket season in the 2014 edition where he averaged just above 16.
Not to forget, Bravo is good in playing cameos, with one of his most talked about knocks being the 68 off 30 deliveries in the IPL 2018 openers versus Mumbai Indians.
Thus, it goes without a saying, that a peak Bravo could decimate any batting attack with his bowling variations – cutters, yorkers, and by introducing changes in the line and lengths.
Jacques Kallis ( 2427 Runs, 65 Wickets )
Former Protea all-rounder played with Royal Challengers Bangalore (2008-10), and then with the Kolkata Knight Riders (2010-14).
The 2010 edition of IPL saw Kallis in the race for the orange cap, as he came up with rip-roaring knocks in the first four matches (65*, 89*, 44*, and 66*) with few more top knocks in the mid stages, eventually leading him to the second spot with 572 runs under his belt.
Though Kallis was among the biggest match-winners for both the franchises, it is the Kolkata Knight Riders with whom he won he won the IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014 editions.
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