TO WIN a tournament, a team needs good all-rounders. Be it the 1983 World Cup triumph, 2007 inaugural World T20 win to 2011 World Cup win at home – it was always the all-rounders who made the difference.
The fact that Mumbai Indians are five-time champions is again primarily because of the all-rounders they have in their team. Starting with the Pandya brothers (Hardik & Krunal) to Kieron Pollard – they formed the lethal combination that has made all the difference.
Almost all the teams have stars – who are capable of giving good starts to an innings – but it is only Mumbai Indians who have made it largely because of their all-rounders.
And the fact that the defending champions are struggling to make it count, is because their all-rounders are not firing.
They are actually the back-bone of a team and Mumbai Indians are struggling on that front. Even as the MI’s selectors are struggling to stand by their decision to pick six Mumbai cricketers in the team for the World T20, the pressure on batting all-rounder Hardik Pandya is growing as the league stage of IPL is on the verge of getting over.
Officially, the board isn’t saying anything, but murmurs are doing the rounds as to who should replace whom and it is come down to the all-rounder’s slot that the Indian team management is worried about.
No matter what, the team needs an all-rounder, besides Ravindra Jadeja, who can bowl pace. If Hardik can’t continue in the Indian team for the all-rounder because of lack of 100 per cent fitness, Shardul Thakur, a bowling all-rounder, will certainly get a look in.
It is also clear that the Indian team will go for the World T20 with at least two genuine all-rounders in the playing XI. Reason? Without them, no team can become a champion side.