The five best all-rounders over the next five years

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Not sure we’ve got Imran Khan or Garry Sobers on the cards, but it’s not looking bad.

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh, age 22

As a cricket-writer, we’re worried there’ll be no words left in a few years time, because they’ll all have been eaten by Bangladesh criticisers. Shakib Al Hasan will make people backtrack until they’ve returned to the womb. He is the best one-day all-rounder in the world and he is 22. He is not going to get any worse at any point in the next decade. Dwell on that.

Dwayne Bravo, West Indies, 26

Played a bit. Been solid. Time to push on, Dwayne.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India, 28

The most dangerous batsmen are those who can destroy an attack but don’t feel that they have to. For Dhoni it’s all about the runs. He’ll get them in singles, he’ll get them in ugly works to leg. He doesn’t care. He also doesn’t care about his average. He just wants to win matches.

Matt Prior, England, 27

No, seriously. Matt Prior has been one of the best batsmen in England for quite a while and being as everyone seems to have gone a bit quiet about his keeping, that must be acceptable as well. Despite his hairline, he’s actually 27. He could prove a very important player in the next few years.

Stuart Broad, England, 23

Don’t talk him up? Tough shit. We’re starting to believe that he can bowl, which is the main thing, while he’s got bags of time to sort out the batting, which has largely been okay anyway.


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  1. I’d say Mitchell Johnson should be a much better batsman than Broad, probaby is better right now actually.

  2. Maybe, but we don’t think his bowling’s going to get much better and is he a fast bowler who’ll last into his thirties? He’s 28 already.

    Fair call though. He might prove a significant omission if the bowling does stand up over the next few years.

  3. Shahid Afridi isn’t playing Test cricket.

    Matt Prior is averaging 44 already and may well improve.

  4. E nourmous,

    Mitchell Johnson is a very good slogger whereas Stuart Broad is a proper batsman. Neither can bat at 7 for their country with any justification at the moment. Broad, however, might be able to get there whereas Johnson never will be able to.

    I also agree on Matt Prior with KC. He is acquiring an Alex Stuart like anonymity behind the stumps: With Stewart, you only recognized the loss once he stopped playing.

  5. Good to see Shakib on the list. Don’t know about the other 4.

    It would have been easier to mention Shakib Al Hasan 5 times instead of wasting time on those “other” players.

    • Shane Watson can’t bowl
    • Mitchell Johnson, see above
    • Albie Morkel can’t bowl and is only good enough to bat as a late overs slogger in one-dayers
    • Angelo Mathews is interesting, but it’s early days
    • Jadeja has done little so far
  6. Channel 4 show some good tv shows…then they started with those ‘hundred greatest’ list shows.

  7. Good call on Hasan. He really is a terrific young fellow. I haven’t really watched the progress of Bravo as a test all-rounder, but he is good in the shorter formats. Whenever people project Broad as an all-rounder, I am reminded of Irfan Pathan. Before it was decided for Pathan that he could bat, he had a lovely bowling action, could swing the ball, take wickets early, and was a bits and pieces batsman. After he started “batting”, he lost his action, couldn’t swing the ball, didn’t take wickets, and was a bits and pieces batsman. One can only hope Broad still believes bowing is his primary forte.

    As for Dhoni and Prior, I am rather old-fashioned in my definition of all-rounders 🙂

  8. I am pleased with the omission of Shane Watson. It is a mystery how he has ever taken a wicket. Also, he pisses me off. Reason enough to overlook him.

    Angelo Matthews probably worth a look though.

  9. regarding the comment on Johnson’s batting, yeah, I will agree that he doesn’t look like he’s ever going to construct an innings as such – which I can sort of see Broad doing – but I think his hitting will get him enough decent scores for him to be considered a legitimate bowling allrounder.

    haven’t seen much of Shakib… series against NZ coming up I think? should be interesting.

  10. Shane Watson is so incredibly over-rated. And every time he opens his mouth, a puppy dies. Not really – but let’s just say that he doesn’t do modesty…

  11. shane watson should definately be up there. he has mastered the bat technically and become a solid opener aswel as making countless fiftys and a hundred in his call back period. he has developed a method of reverse swinging the ball miles both ways and can swing a new ball to. if he cant bowl then neither umar akmal or yousaf can bat. should no doubt be up there.

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