Home > Features >

James Franklin, Abdul Razzaq & Irfan Pathan three of the most talented all-rounders in contemporary cricket

James Franklin, Abdur Razzaq & Irfan Pathan unlimited talent, limited opportunities

James Franklin (left), Abdul Razzaq (centre) and Irfan Pathan © Getty Images

By Abhijit Banare

They don’t feature in the list of top 10 all-rounders in the ICC ODI or T20 rankings. Yet their value to their respective teams is more than just cold statistics. Their worth needs to be measured in terms of the balance they bring to the team rather than focusing on career statistics which doesn’t really make an impact. A hat-trick, some match-winning partnerships and individual innings is something which is common among them, yet they remained inconsistent during most part of their career which isn’t entirely their fault.
Here are three underrated all-rounders in current era International cricket.

James Franklin

Currently, Franklin and another experienced all-rounder Jacob Oram are swapping places in the New Zealand playing XI. And neither of them has been able to contribute significantly. It’s good to have an option for a particular spot in the team, but having confidence and backing one player to keep a stable combination is the real sign of a good team. However, Franklin doesn’t seem to enjoy enough confidence of the New Zealand captain and team management which is evident from the number of matches he played. Most of the match-winning contributions from Franklin were during moments where his team had almost been written off.
During the fifth edition Indian Premier Leauge (IPL) Franklin proved to be an extremely valuable player for Mumbai Indians. The only thing that made a difference here was, being used to an optimum level as an opening batsman and an extra bowling option during the latter half of the season. More than scoring runs it’s the composed and structured innings at the top which showed his real capability. Moreover, he’s a good player of spin which makes it more important for him to play up the order in T20 World Cup. In many ways IPL 5 proved significant to keep him afloat in the national side. The New Zealand Cricket board though didn’t consider him for a central contract twice in a row which again sums up a disappointing approach towards the Kiwi all-rounder.

Abdul Razzaq

Considered as Pakistan’s best all-rounder since Imran Khan, Razzaq’s career has been a series of unfortunate decisions. It’s difficult to draw logical conclusions why Razzaq was not included in the playing XI in the just-concluded T20 World Cup. He was won numerous matches for Pakistan batting lower down the order, besides being a reliable medium-pace bowler. He deserved a place in the Pakistani line-up. His inclusion would have helped do away with a fast bowler and add more solidity to the batting as Afridi doesn’t seem to be a batsman anymore.
Razzaq’s tiff with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been one of the major causes of being snubbed from selection on a regular basis and managed to keep his career going with a fruitful stint in county cricket.

Irfan Pathan

Not many would agree on Pathan being part of this discussion. Yet, in recent years, Indian skipper MS Dhoni has frequently said that the team lacks a quality fast bowling all-rounder. But the comments often got buried when part-time spinners start doing well. Pathan’s presence is what brings the balance in the team. His style of batting is tilted to an aggressive approach which doesn’t focus on technique unlike an all-rounder like Shane Watson who is much more composed with his batting skills. In the first six overs where scoring well is necessary, it’s was poor judgment on part of the skipper to send Pathan up the order when there were much competent players to open with in the absence of Virender Sehwag. And it is this aspect which made the difference in the match against Australia.

Looking beyond T20 World Cup, it is a fast bowling all-rounder who plays a key role in successful teams. Be it Jacques Kallis for South Africa, Angelo Matthews for Sri Lanka or Stuart Broad for England. Each one of them are huge assets to their respective team. In this context, Pathan’s presence will help India provided there is a plan set by the team management about what is expected from him.
Franklin, Razzaq and Pathan started their careers as fast bowlers and eventually became handy batsmen. Eventually, they lost focus on their bowling – largely due to injuries. In such cases, the selectors, captain and coach have to think in the larger interest of the team and drop the player if he is not performing the primary purpose he has been picked for.

The only hope for these players is to perform well in the limited opportunities they get. After all, not every player gets a second chance to revive their career – something all the three above-mentioned players in question were fortunate to get. There are other cricketers who could have been part of this list like Andre Russell and Ravi Bopara, but Franklin, Razzaq and Pathan are the most prominent, considering their vast experience in international cricket.

(Like most Indians, Abhijit Banare has been obsessed with cricket since childhood. He is an avid follower, smitten by statistics and analysis. A journalism student in Mumbai, he considers himself lucky to have grown up watching batting legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. He also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 Match 8: CSK romp home by 54 runs

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Key Battles

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab

Anandji Dossa passes away

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) romp to 54-run win against Dolphins in CLT20 2014 Match 8 at Bangalore

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 Match 8 at Bengaluru: Vaughn van Jaarsveld dismissed

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 Match 8 at Bengaluru: Cody Chetty dismmised by Dwayne Bravo

List of highest innings’ totals in CLT20 and overall T20 cricket

List of highest innings’ totals in CLT20 and overall T20 cricket

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Key Battles

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Jalaluddin takes first ODI hat-trick

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

670 Posts | 6 Fans

CLT20 2014: Kings Xi Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, final over

50% of all cancers are detected late

Your newborn might not be as fragile as you thought!

Small World Music Festival Presents: Classical Indian Music

iPhone 6 sales outpacing iPhone 6 Plus, usage tracker reveal

Kajol at the United Nations headquarters-View pic!

Apple iPhone 5S now available for less that Rs 35,000 on Indian e-commerce sites

Mumbai model Ekta Babbar commits suicide

Hrithik Roshan: I am not reprising Tom Cruise in Bang Bang!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here