India have always rued the absence of a genuine all-rounder across all forms of the game. In T20I cricket, having an all-rounder in the unit is an essential aspect, especially if your main bowlers do not have a great day in the middle. The first T20I against the Australians at Adelaide probably decoded the significance of all-rounders for India.
In the middle overs, all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya bowled reasonably well and took wickets which dented Australia’s chase. Pandya had a horrible first over in international cricket, but soon made amends as he struck twice. Skipper MS Dhoni acknowledged the contribution of his all-rounders and said that he was delighted at their performances.
“What I don’t want is top five or top six batters, including the keeper, where you don’t have a bowling option. If somebody goes for runs, you don’t really know what to do. In this format, you will have bowlers going for runs. At that time, you want your part-time allrounders to come in and give you that one over because that one over can help,” said Dhoni.
“We will wait and watch how it goes. I think it’s important to have players like Yuvraj Singh who can bowl and bat, Suresh Raina, who can bowl and bat. Because if you have too many one-dimensional players in your top order it becomes really difficult when someone has a bad day,” Dhoni added.
Speaking about Jadeja, Dhoni said, “Whenever there is a bit of help he is somebody who bowls generally.” “You know his spectrum of performance is generally narrow. The difference between his good and bad performance is little, which makes it slightly easy for us and gives us that stability.”