When India won the ICC World Cup for the first time in 1983, the side led by Kapil Dev was blessed with a number of all-rounders. Kapil, Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri all had their moments as India stunned the cricket world. All-rounders provide the much-required balance to any outfit and as England gets ready to host another edition of the showpiece event, Onmanorama picks five all-rounders who could set the stage on fire.
The Baroda all-rounder made a telling statement in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 12. His awesome hitting and seam bowling went a long way in Mumbai Indians clinching an unprecedented fourth IPL title. Pandya has come back a much stronger player after a forced break due to off-field controversies and fitness issues. His form down the order will be crucial to the Men in Blue's fortunes as he is the lone man capable of producing the big hits at will in the present Indian line-up. Pandya is expected to do a good job with his seamers and to top it all he is a live wire on the field.
Australia are eyeing a record-extending sixth World Cup and Marcus Stoinis is a vital cog in skipper Aaron Finch's plans. Stoinis can provide the firepower in the middle order along with the explosive Glenn Maxwell. He is the ideal back-up seam bowling option to the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff. Stoinis' experience helped him edge Ashton Turner in Australia's final 15 and he will be eager to repay the faith of the selectors and team management.
The burly West Indian lit up the IPL with his sensational hitting for Kolkata Knight Riders. In fact his exploits in the IPL paved the for way for his return to the West Indian ODI squad. Russell will be determined to prove his mark in the shorter format as well. His lively medium-pace bowling and brilliant fielding too will have a bearing on how far the Caribbeans progress in the quadrennial extravaganza.
Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh enter the World Cup with genuine belief that they can beat any side on their day. Shakib Al Hasan will be one of skipper Masharafe Mortaza's trump cards. At 32, Shakib is one of the senior players in the squad. The left-hander is a high quality batsman and a wily spinner. His form both with the bat and bowl will determine whether the Tigers can live up to the expectations of their loyal fans.
The unassuming Moeen Ali has risen to become one of the leading all-rounders across the formats. Moeen has the ability to build the innings and can go on the attack from the word go if the situation demands. The left-hander could be used as a floater in the star-studded English batting line-up. Moeen is a crafty off-spinner and forms a potent spin combination with veteran leggie Adil Rashid. The hosts are eyeing their maiden World Cup crown and for that to become a reality, Moeen will have to be at the top of his game, especially with Ben Stokes going through a lean patch.