Cricket is a game that demands skills in all three departments – batting, bowling, and fielding. While some acquire mastery with the bat in hand, others tend to learn the art of bowling. However, there are only a few who are equally good at both the traits along with athleticism in the field. Such all-rounders great value to any playing XI, and even more in a tournament as competitive as an IPL. With such a rich history of the IPL, there's always a question of who is the best all-rounder in the IPL?
Here's a look at the top-5 all-rounders in the IPL:
5. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is one of the most consistent performers for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The 34-year old is a utility cricketer who can contribute both with bat and ball. The left-handed cricketer has picked 120 IPL wickets at a fairly low economy of 7.63. In the recent few years, Jadeja has added a lot to his batting prowess. As a result, the franchise has offered him a greater responsibility to bat as a finisher in the side.
Along with his prolific skills with bat and ball, the Gujarat-born player has created an immense impact with his fielding standards. In his IPL career so far, the Southpaw has inflicted 23 run-out – the most by any player. Jadeja also happens to be the only player to score 2000+ runs and pick 100+ wickets in the IPL. And rightly so, he's one of the best all-rounders in the IPL.
4. Andre Russell
The Jamaica-born Andre Russell is one of the most destructive cricketers in the world. He possesses the might to turn the match around from any stage of the game. For players with over 500 runs in the IPL, Russell has the highest batting strike rate nearing 180. His extraordinary exploits often tend to overshadow his bowling performance which includes 68 wickets in the IPL.
The Caribbean all-rounder has bagged the Player of the Tournament award twice in his IPL career. Over the years, Russell has proved to be a runaway match-winner who has won Kolkata Knight Riders numerous games after being down in the dumps. He would certainly walk into an all-time IPL XI based upon his all-around skills.
3. Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo is among the most successful players in the history of the Indian Premier League. The Caribbean all-rounder has a very impressive IPL record and is one of the main reasons behind the success of the Chennai Super Kings. He has 156 IPL wickets to his name along with over 1500 runs in the league. Bravo is ranked third in the list of the highest wicket-takers in IPL history.
He held the Purple Cap in 2013 and 2015. The 37-year old also holds the record for picking the most wickets in an IPL season. He claimed 32 scalps in IPL 2013 to record for most wickets by a bowler in an IPL edition. He also took 76 IPL catches and he is known as one of the safest hands in IPL.
2. Shane Watson
Shane Watson is undoubtedly one of the best all-rounders in the Indian Premier League. The former Australian player had a brilliant IPL career and was known for delivering at the biggest of all stages. He finished his IPL career with 3874 IPL runs and 92 wickets while playing majorly for Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. In 2008, Watson also won the Player of the Tournament award in the inaugural IPL edition.
He played a pivotal role in scripting an underdog win for the Jaipur-based franchise in 2008. He scored 472 runs and took 17 wickets for Rajasthan in that season and in 2018, Watson helped CSK to their third IPL title in the comeback year.
1. Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard has had the maximum impact as an all-rounder in the history of the Indian Premier League. He is one of the key players behind the success of five-time IPL Champions Mumbai Indians. So far, Pollard has scored 3667 runs at a strike rate of 151 and including his 72 scalps.
Despite not being the quicker in the field, he's agile and has produced moments of brilliance among those 92 catches in IPL so far. The MI lad continues to be a vital part of the franchise. The ‘Men in Blue' rely a lot upon the experienced pro who has delivered in the most tragic circumstances. It won't be any surprise if Pollard is regarded as the best all-rounder in the history of IPL.