What's an All-Rounder?

A genuine all rounder will be good enough to bat in the first six and go close to bowling his twenty overs in a day. He probably bats six, since batting higher up seems to bring constraints with the bowling workload. Dunno why that has to be the case, but it seems to be the way it is.

Alternatively he can bat Seven if the ‘keeper is close enough to a specialist bat to slot in at Six.

Genuine allrounders are few and far between. We tend to get bowlers who can bat, and the occasional batsman who can bowl. Bowlers who can bat will send down their twenty overs a day and contribute useful runs while occupying the crease, hopefully with an established batsman at the other end. Bowlers who can bat are good prospects at Eight and Nine.

You’re always going to have someone in the side who’s a candidate for Eleven, and more than likely another who’s a Ten. Looking at a Gabba scenario that could have Harris and Siddle at Ten and Eleven if Lyon gets the drinks waiter’s job is an atypical state of affairs. Neither of them are bunnies.

On the other side of the pseudo all-rounder coin,  we have batsmen who can bowl, and here we’re looking at someone who can bat in the top six and deliver around ten overs of Test standard bowling.

Note we’re talking Test quality here, not someone who is there and can roll the arm over if required.

And this, folks, is where we turn our eyes towards the horizon.

Along with the fifty overs in a Test there also seems to be some statistical basis for a suggestion that it’s the young quicks who are most likely to break down badly. The older ones, when they’re injured, seem to have issues that relate to normal wear and tear.

On that basis, it might seem to make sense to have some of your up and coming quicks, once they’re out of age group cricket, looking to bat up the order for club or state sides which could tend to put some constraints on their bowling workloads. Note the use of could, tend and some there, and we’re not talking right up to the top of the order, more like Seven or Eight if the ‘keeper’s batting Six.

You never know. That might just get them through the danger period safely, after which the work rate could be ramped up, and you’d have a bloke who could handle himself in a Test side at Eight, Nine or Ten.

More particularly, if you’ve got someone who can bowl and can also build himself into a Five, Six or Seven (if the ‘keeper bats six) you might have a way forward for the likes of Ashton Agar, though one notes that the all-rounder bit requires ten or twenty overs of Test standard bowling. Could be a way forward for Glenn maxwell as well, but revealed form suggests the bowling isn’t quite there yet.

If that all seems to be looking too far into the future, let’s just say you’ve got to do something while we’re waiting to see which way the coin falls at the Gabba in a week’s time.

 © Ian Hughes 2014