A batsman is expected to score runs whereas a bowler needs to pick wickets. In contrast, the expectations from all-rounders are much more. They have to deliver with the bat and ball, at most times. Having failed in one of those departments results in criticism. The criticism and adulation come in equal measure for all-rounders. Hence, when an all-rounder delivers with the bat and ball, it is fondly remembered.
We look at 5 times when an Indian all-rounder performed in both departments.
One of our first great all-around performances was in Lord’s in 1946. Amarnath was playing against England he managed to pick a 5fer and scored a commendable 50 runs. Amarnath’s 50 came in the second innings. It was a valiant fight but unfortunately, it came in a losing cause.
Ashwin has proved his batting and bowling mettle to the world. He has 5 international centuries and uncountable 5fers. His utility to the team is unquestionable. On three occasions, Ashwin has scored more than 5 runs and taken 5fers. Against England in 2016 he scored a solid 58, against South Africa in 2015 he got a 56 and against Sri Lanka, in 2017 he got 54. All three times he went onto pick 5fers with the ball.
Close on the heels of Ashwin is Jaddu. The bowl and bat in pairs. Each complements the other and has been contemporaries. Jadeja too has got many half-centuries and 5fers but there are two particular occasions when he could get them together. Against New Zealand in 2016, Jaddu scored a 50 not out and against England, in 2016 he got 51. He returned with bowling figures of 5/73 and 7/48 on the two respective occasions.
Kapil Dev has been a legendary name in the list of all-rounders and his name is no surprise on this list. He too, like the others, has got the two feats on various occasions. Particularly, in 1992 against Australia he got 56, and against England in 1982, he scored a spectacular 89. In both these matches, he got 5 wickets for 130 and 125 runs respectively.
A career-defining inning of Bhuvi was when he scored 52 against England in the first test of the 2014 series. He then went onto pick 6 wickets for 82 runs. His batting and bowling performances were instrumental for India to win the first test of the tour in Lord’s which India had not achieved in nearly 3 decades.