World Cup 2019: 5 all-rounders to watch out for

From West Indies's Andre Russell to Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, we look at the all-rounders who lend their teams the much-coveted balance with their two-dimensional skill set.

Andre Russell was Kolkata Knight Riders's best player in IPL 2019 and finished the season as the Most Valuable Player.   -  PTI

All-rounders are the flavour of the season and the 2019 World Cup will feature some of the best in the business. West Indies legend Clive Lloyd has said that the quadrennial tournament in England and Wales will be the “World Cup of all-rounders”.

IANS takes a look at the five best all rounders who could define matches as it kicks off on May 30.

Andre Russell (West Indies)

Mumbai Indians may have won IPL 2019 but one of the standout players of the season was Andre Russell. The 31-year-old seems to have got a second wind since returning from a doping ban imposed on him in January 2017. He has struck 130 sixes in 58 games since it ended, amounting to a six every five balls and the manner in which he flogged bowlers in the IPL looked like something straight out of a video game. Russell is also a useful medium-pacer and an excellent fielder. If he remains fit and Russell continues from where he left off in the IPL, one can expect a few records to fall at his feet.

Hardik Pandya (India)

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Hardik Pandya was an integral part of Mumbai Indians winning the IPL for a fourth time.   -  K. R. Deepak

 

Emulating Russell’s form with the bat looked impossible this IPL season but Pandya came the closest to the big Jamaican. A batsman who can do significant damage in the death overs with his ball-striking ability, Pandya has added helicopter shot to his arsenal and it was one of the most productive shots for him in the twelfth edition of Indian Premier League. The 25-year-old's bowling has steadily improved and he is now a genuine wicket-takers in the national side and for his state and IPL teams. Hardik will be integral to India's chances of winning the 2019 World Cup.

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Ben Stokes (England)

A line can be drawn in Stokes’s batting style and his on-field temperament before he got embroiled in the Bristol nightclub controversy and after it. Stokes is an explosive batsman and a potent bowling option with his hit-the-deck style often combined with speeds north of 140kmph. The Durham all-rounder has mellowed down since the nightclub incident, but he remains an integral part of the English middle order and its bowling attack.

Marcus Stoinis (Australia)

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Marcus Stoinis will be Australia's finisher with the bat, helping the team finish with a flourish with his ability to clear the boundary at will.   -  Getty Images

 

Virat Kohli termed Stoinis as the “biggest threat” prior to Australia’s tour of India recently. The visitor went on to stun Kohli and his team 3-2 in the five-match ODI series and Stoinis was in the thick of it. He scored 140 runs and even picked Kohli’s wicket in the decisive final match. With the ball, the 29-year-old may seem a gentle medium-pacer, but his accuracy and subtle variations in pace make him a handful on most pitches round the world. Stoinis is a technically-sound batsman who takes his time at the start of his innings but can find the boundary at will in the latter stages.

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Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Shakib’s participation in the World Cup came was in doubt when he retired hurt during an ODI game against Ireland last week. He suffered a side strain and didn't play the tri-series final against the West Indies, which Bangladesh won by five wickets on Friday. Shakib is a player who Bangladesh will bank on. He can bat anywhere from Nos. 3 to 6, occupy the crease for long periods and pace his innings according to the match situation. His floating left-arm orthodox spin tend to keep the batsmen honest. Shakib is economical with the ball and his ability to build pressure with dot balls brings him wickets.