IPL 2020 Final: All-rounders or Game changers?

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IPL 2020 Final: All-rounders or Game changers?

10 Nov 2020 029 Views Cricket News

IPL 2020 Final: The role of all-rounders in the successful campaigns of MI and DC


Cricket fans from all over the world await a mouth-watering clash as the two most balanced side in Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020: Mumbai Indians and Delhi capitals lock horns at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today. What has been their key to success, why do they seem so balanced? Bharat Army investigates the most crucial aspect of their successful IPL campaign:

Three wickets for 26 runs in three overs then another 38 runs off 27 ball innings (five 4's and one 6) balls opening with the bat, these are performances that any team would lick their lips thinking about. But what if these weren't performances. Rather a performance. Which is what it was. This was Australian Marcus Stoinis, an 'all-rounder' who did the job with the bat and the ball. 

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Which is what is becoming more and more important in the shortest format of the game. All-rounders - Players who are a complete package and can deliver in both innings. But all-rounders have been important in Test cricket as well as One Day cricket. However, it is in the shortest format that these complete players are making a squad function with fluidity. 

How so? Let us consider the example of the two teams that are going to play the IPL 2020 final. Talking about the defending champions Mumbai Indians, don't they look the most balanced side? A major reason for that is the trio of Pandya brothers and Pollard. These three individuals who since 2015 have provided their team with three batsmen and three bowlers. In other numeric terms, you can look at this as 12 overs and about 40-60 balls of swashbuckling cricket.  

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

This has made Mumbai look like one of those teams where if you take a wicket against them or target a bowler, it's your bad luck. The current MI batting lineup has Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock opening followed by Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. There's more than 50% chance of either one of them succeeding given their form and class. But what if they don't.

Luckily for Mumbai Indian Cricket fans that is when the younger Pandya and super Pollard come in. Who like to play these short cameos with some biggies and take the score to the desired total. Batting at a strike rate which makes the bowlers who have taken early wickets regret their actions. Krunal Pandya is someone who can be the same as well as in a supportive role. So in a way, Mumbai extends their batting lineup without the expense of their bowling. 

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Though currently, Hardik isn't able to bowl, he still repays MI with his hitting which has again been exceptional this season. The auction dynamics are also broken by this trio. The IPL auction is not just buying big superstars to fill in your teams. Which is something MI realized earlier and better than most teams.

As a result of which you see this balanced side. There are too many restrictions that are laid in your path to becoming invincible. But by getting two promising all-rounders and nurturing them well alongside a veteran has been fruitful for Mumbai Indians. Especially when you have a mixture of seam and spin all-rounders. 

An important thing here to understand is that in T20 cricket the role of an all-rounder is going to be of fewer deliveries than an established bowler or a batsman. Hardik Pandya doesn't play or doesn't get to play as many deliveries as Suryakumar Yadav or Rohit Sharma. In most situations. Kieron Pollard wouldn't get to bowl four overs as often as Jasprit Bumrah. But it is in those few deliveries that an all-rounder will have to perform. Luckily for MI, the consistency of their all-rounder trio. 

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Which is essentially something their opposition in the final tried to emulate this season. And probably have come the closest to doing. DC needed someone to fire runs in a way that lifted the pressure off Rishabh Pant who was the sole charmer of strike rate in their team for the last few years.

In came Marcus Stoinis. An all-rounder. Who not only has won 3-4 games on his own for DC with the bat this season but has also given them 12 wickets. As a pace all-rounder which has been a treat in the conditions this year. 

DC also have two very different spin bowling all-rounders, the duo of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin which does extend the batting deep, even though it doesn't add as good firepower on a consistent basis as the trio at MI does. But the Axar and Ashwin give those valuable eight overs to compliment an already well-paced Delhi attack. And in the odd games like the one against Chennai Super Kings, we can very well get to see another side to their game. 

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

This is why having a bunch of all-rounders is going to become a big trend in the coming time. You can already see that in the best teams. Even in international cricket. India already has Jadeja, Pandya brothers, Ashwin, and many exciting new options in T20 format to loom up to.

England has someone like Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, and exciting prospects in the Curran brothers. Australia has always had excellent fast bowlers who can hit big but apart from that as well they are always handy with good all-rounders. The likes of Stoinis who will be key a player in India's tour of Australia. It is only about time others catch up. They would have to.

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