The ICC World Cup 2019 is just 10 days away as teams gather to get their preparations in line and focus on several aspects in the game. The World Cup is set to be held in England and Wales and the recently concluded ODI series between the hosts and Pakistan gave us glimpses of what to expect. Going by the conditions, all-rounders will play an important role in the 2019 World Cup. In batting friendly conditions, all-rounders will be counted upon to chip in and produce substance.
All the 10 teams in the 2019 World Cup have the luxury of some strong names to fill in as all-rounders. The modern day 50-over cricket is a fast paced format and all-rounders will be key in determining a team’s success in an event as big as the World Cup.
England have the best all-round department going into the event, but how do the other teams shape up? Can they go on and challenge to make an impression?
Here we rate the all-round department of each team going into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
England have the desired balance
Looking at the players England have in this zone, one can easily claim them as the best in business at this moment. Enigmatic Ben Stokes is a class act with Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali offering immense contributions time and time again. Woakes in particular provides that assurance as a bowling all-rounder. He picked up 10 scalps against Pakistan in the 4-0 ODI series win.
With the ball he solves a lot of problems. Woakes knows how to bat sensibly and his power hitting capabilities make him a sheer match winner. Then there is spin all-rounder Moeen. He has been a regular in the side. He didn’t have a strong series, but expect him to bounce back.
Stokes powers that middle order and provides steel. Jofra Archer can also be considered as a bowling all-rounder. He was selected in England’s 15-man squad on Tuesday.
England get 9/10 rating because of the desired balance and depth in store.
India need Pandya to fire
Hardik Pandya is a true and complete all-rounder. He gives the side the depth in batting at number seven and can power the team in the final few overs with his ability to strike the ball well. A quick-fire 30-40 at the death for example, will serve Virat Kohli & Co. well against top teams. Be it batting first or second, Pandya has shown that he can be the match-winner of he manages to stay in control. His wicket-taking ability will be useful.
Left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja brings experience. He is strong in the field and will be required to chip in when called upon. With the bat, Jadeja needs to fire. Kedar Jadhav’s importance gains prominence with his handy spin bowling. The weak link is that there is no back-up pace all-rounder. Vijay Shankar is there but he isn’t someone that can bowl consistently.
India lack the cutting edge and Pandya’s role in vital. They get a rating of 7.5/10.
Australia dependent on Maxwell, Stoinis
The Aussies have gone in with two specialist all-rounders in Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. Both these players are set to feature in almost every game for the defending champions. What Aussies do lack here is a back-up all-rounder in case either of the two gets injured. So a lot will revolve around the fitness levels of these two.
Maxwell is in solid form for the Aussies and he has matured into a fine player. His ability to handle pressure and play some crucial knocks is becoming the order of the day. Maxi will also be needed to bowl a few overs on a consistent basis. His fielding is a plus for the side.
Marcus Stoinis is another name that fits into this starting XI. The all-rounder adds depth and is a strong finisher. His ability to be variable with the ball could help Australia in the middle overs.
Australia have two proven stars and their fitness is key. They get 8/10 rating.
South Africa can flex their muscles
The availability of all-rounders such as Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo will be important for SA in the lower middle order. Both are handy pace-bowling all-rounders and will offer impetus in the bowling as well. Phehlukwayo is their main man in that crucial number seven position.
SA have been bolstered by the addition of the experienced Chris Morris. He replaced Anrich Nortje in the squad after the latter was ruled out with an injury. SA have the steel and base to make things count with their sturdy all-round options.
The Proteas get 8/10 rating.
Kiwis have a solid unit on offer
Jimmy Neesham is a powerful all-rounder and his exploits with the bat in the lower middle order will serve purpose. He has the credentials to go long and strong at the death. He is an able bowler as well. The side will be bolstered by his presence as there is a sense of cushion with him.
Colin de Grandhomme has risen as a renowned cricketer. He can produce the fireworks and is a superb fielder as well. Joining the two is spin all-rounder Mitchell Santner. The versatile all-rounder is quite a utility player in the ranks for NZ.
Given the options, Kiwis look solid and get 8/10.
WI hope for Russell, Holder show
Andre Russell has been in exceptional form in T20 leagues around the world. If he can continue with the form shown in the IPL, then Windies will be in for some treat. His prominent role will be that of a finisher at number seven. But don’t be surprised when the muscular Russell is promoted up the order in several other games. He can take the match away with a blink of an eye.
Skipper Jason Holder brings the calm factor in the unit. He is a proven leader, who has done well to rally the side. The team believes in him and he has stood tall. Carlos Brathwaite is the side’s third all-rounder. He will need to find form and step up when called upon.
West Indies get 7/10 given the strong options at bay.
How do Pakistan, Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan shape up?
Pakistan are in a spot of bother as far the all-round department is concerned. Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim were chosen as the two handy all-rounders in the provisional squad. However, the selectors decided to axe Ashraf from the squad and replace him with pacer Wahab Riaz. So a lot of work will rely around Imad. He can accelerate at the death in the lower middle order.
Shoaib Malik and Mohammed Hafeez will be required to chip in with some spin on offer.
Pakistan, who lack substance, get a rating of 4.5/10.
Sri Lanka have named a host of all-rounders to give them the balance. They have solid experience in the form of Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. A veteran of 203 ODIs, Mathews will be of utmost significance for the side. He has the knowledge of playing in World Cups. Mathews will be wanting to give his all. Perera’s presence adds the cushion of a hard-hitting all-rounder.
Isuru Udana offers support and is the other pace-bowling all-rounder. Jeevan and Siriwardana are spin-bowling all-rounders in the Lankan squad. Dhananjaya de Silva brings quality in the side. He will provide variety with his off-breaks.
Lanka have options to choose from, but they lack the finesse and get a rating of 6/10.
Bangladesh will rely on all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The left-hander is a key asset in all three dimensions on the field. He is a world class figure that adds just so much to this Bangladeshi side. Mosaddek Hossain is another fall back option. Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mashrafe Mortaza can be considered as bowling all-rounders. Sabbir can rotate his arm when needed.
Bangladesh are too dependent on Shakib and lack a proper batting all-rounder and get a rating of 4.5/10.
Afghanistan will look up to 28-year-old skipper Naib is a strong all-rounder and will look to lift up the middle order. He is a strong bowling-all-rounder. A lot will revolve around his performances. Mohammad Nabi is an experienced figure and will need to bring in the consistency factor.
Saimullah Shinwari is one of the desired names in the side. He is more than just a batsman. His inputs as an all-rounder will help Afghanistan. He can bowl leg-breaks and can fulfil the role as a third spinner in the side. Shinwari has 81 matches under his belt.
Afghanistan get a rating of 6/10 given the resources at their disposal.