An all-rounder is a cricket player who excels at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat, and most batsmen end up bowling occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines. Wicket-keepers who are also very good batsmen (such as Adam Gilchrist, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara) are considered by some to be all-rounders, but the term "wicketkeeper-batsman" is more commonly used to reserve the term "all-rounder" for the batting/bowling type.


There is some confusion as to the precise definition that a player needs to fit in order to be considered an all-rounder. The generally accepted criterion is that a genuine all-rounder is someone whose batting or bowling skills, considered alone, would be good enough to win them a place on the team. By this definition, true all-rounders are quite rare, and extremely valuable to a team since they effectively count as two players. Very few players have ever managed this distinction. The skills required for batting and bowling are very different and players tend to peak at different ages, while batsmen often reach their peak at 30 (when thier technique has matured through experience) bowlers, especially fast bowlers, are at their peak in their early to mid twenties; at the height of their physical prowess. More commonly, all-rounders are better at bowling than batting or vice versa. Thus the terms "bowling all-rounder" or "batting all-rounder" are used to describe such players.

One commonly used statistical rule of thumb is that the batting average of an all-rounder (the higher the better) should be greater than the bowling average (the lower the better). For example, Imran Khan had the combined Test cricket averages of 37.69 with the bat and 22.81 with the ball; likewise, Keith Miller had 36.97 and 22.97, and; Ian Botham had 33.34 and 28.40 respectively. The need to excel in both departments complicates comparison between players, especially when they played under the differing conditions of disparate historical eras.

The issue is clouded by the many specialist batsmen and bowlers who exhibit some degree of skill in the other department. For example, the Australian bowler Brett Lee has batting ability, but is not good enough to be selected as a Test batsman in his own right. There is no agreement whether players in this class, including batsmen who can bowl a few useful overs such as Sachin Tendulkar, are to be considered all-rounders; the term "part-timer" is often used in place of all-rounder in such cases. Television channels sometimes add to this confusion by using the same icons beside these players as they do beside true all-rounders.

Further adding complexity to the definition of all-rounders is the difference between test cricket and one-day cricket. Often, a player may bowl his entire quota of ten overs, or near thereto, in most one-day matches; however, he will be bowling only sparingly in test matches, with fewer than half the overs of the main strike bowlers. This makes them all-rounders in one-day cricket, but closer to part-timers in test cricket. Players such as Sanath Jayasuriya and Andrew Symonds fit this description well. The hybrid term "one-day all-rounder" is most descriptive in this case, and such players are denoted in the list below by (ODI).

Early all-rounder feats

VE Walker of Middlesex, playing for All-England "versus" Surrey at The Oval on 21, 22 & 23 July 1859, took all ten wickets in the Surrey first innings and followed this by scoring 108 in the England second innings, having been the not out batsman in the first (20*). He took a further four wickets in Surrey’s second innings. All-England won by 392 runs.

Next came EM Grace on 15 August 1862. He carried his bat through the entire MCC innings, scoring 192 not out of a total of 344. He then, bowling underarm, took all 10 wickets in the Kent first innings for 69 runs. However, this is not an official record as it was a 12-a-side game (though one of the Kent batsmen was injured).

Fielding prowess

A further confusion to all-rounder status is added when fielding is considered. Particularly in the modern game (limited overs cricket in particular) great emphasis is put on fielding skills and some exceptional fielders have been considered "all-rounders" by some, Jonty Rhodes and Paul Collingwood being prime examples. If one is to consider all three disciplines then Frank Woolley perhaps stands alone. He is the only player to take 1000 first class catches (excluding wicket-keepers), only Jack Hobbs has scored more first class runs and he took over 2000 wickets at an average of less than 20.

List of batting all-rounders

* Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
* Paul Collingwood (England)
* Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)
* Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
* Scott Styris (New Zealand) (ODI)
* Andrew Symonds (Australia)

List of bowling all-rounders

* Irfan Pathan (India)
* Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)
* Andrew Flintoff (England)
* Jacob Oram (New Zealand)
* Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)
* Daniel Vettori (New Zealand)

List of wicketkeeper-batsmen

* Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India)
* Matthew Prior (England)
* Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
* Mark Boucher (South Africa)

List of historical all-rounders

* Abdul Razzaq (Pakistan)
* Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
* Gubby Allen (England)
* Les Ames (England) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Asif Iqbal (Pakistan)
* Trevor Bailey (England)
* Eddie Barlow (South Africa)
* Richie Benaud (Australia)
* Ian Botham (England)
* Chris Cairns (New Zealand)
* Lance Cairns (New Zealand)
* Hansie Cronje (South Africa)
* Alan Davidson (Australia)
* Ted Dexter (England)
* Basil D'Oliveira (England)
* Aubrey Faulkner (South Africa)
* Andy Flower (Zimbabwe) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Frank Foster (England)
* CB Fry (England)
* George Giffen (Australia)
* Adam Gilchrist (Australia) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Trevor Goddard (South Africa)
* EM Grace (England)
* WG Grace (England)
* Jack Gregory (Australia)
* Tony Greig (England)
* Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand)
* Andrew Hall (South Africa)
* Wally Hammond (England)
* Chris Harris (New Zealand)
* George Herbert Hirst (England)
* Carl Hooper (West Indies)
* Ray Illingworth (England)
* Gilbert Jessop (England)
* Imran Khan (Pakistan)
* Kapil Dev (India)
* Lance Klusener (South Africa)
* Denis Lindsay (South Africa) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Brian McMillan (South Africa)
* Vinoo Mankad (India)
* Keith Miller (Australia)
* Shaun Pollock (South Africa)
* Mike Procter (South Africa)
* Paul Reiffel (Australia)
* Clive Rice (South Africa))
* Wilfred Rhodes (England)
* Ravi Shastri (India)
* Sir Garfield Sobers (West Indies)
* Alec Stewart (England) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Paul Strang (Zimbabwe)
* Heath Streak (Zimbabwe)
* Maurice Tate (England)
* Bruce Taylor (New Zealand)
* Fred Titmus (England)
* Clyde Walcott (West Indies) (wicket-keeper/batsman)
* Guy Whittall (Zimbabwe)
* Frank Woolley (England)
* Frank Worrell (West Indies)

ee also

*Bowler (cricket)
*Double (cricket)
*Cricket terminology
*Five-tool player, an analogous but slightly different concept in baseball


* [ CricInfo]
* Wisden Cricketers Almanack

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • all-rounder — n. 1. 1 a versatile person who is expert at many things. she s the best all rounder they ve seen in years Syn: all arounder [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • all-rounder — all rounders N COUNT Someone who is an all rounder is good at a lot of different skills, academic subjects, or sports. [BRIT] I class myself as an all rounder and a team man at heart …   English dictionary

  • all-rounder — n BrE someone with many different skills ▪ a good all rounder …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • all-rounder — [ôl΄roun′dər] n. Brit. a person who is skilled in many different areas, esp. in all aspects of a sport, as cricket …   English World dictionary

  • all-rounder — noun count BRITISH someone who is good at doing a lot of different things, especially in sports …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • all-rounder — ► NOUN Brit. ▪ a person competent in a range of skills …   English terms dictionary

  • All-rounder — Au cricket, un all rounder est un joueur polyvalent, utilisé à la fois pour ses talents de batteur et de lanceur. Le terme s applique aussi parfois aux joueurs doués à la fois en tant que batteur et que gardien de guichet[1]. La définition… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • all-rounder — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms all rounder : singular all rounder plural all rounders British someone who is good at doing a lot of different things, especially in sport …   English dictionary

  • all-rounder — /awl rown deuhr/, n. a person of great versatility or wide ranging skills: The job needs an all rounder who knows sales, accounting, and something about computers. [1855 60; all (a)round + ER1] * * * …   Universalium

  • all-rounder — noun a versatile person who is expert at many things she s the best all rounder they ve seen in years • Syn: ↑all arounder • Hypernyms: ↑expert …   Useful english dictionary

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