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Ipl is round the corner again, and all the thrills and spills will be back. IPL might not be the truest form of
the game, but it surely presents a hell lot of nerve breaking moments. This year it cant be too different
from the previous years. In the 7
edition of the Ipl it has been seen that teams certainly have their
prioritized set of players and retained a set of players that the franchisees see as their future with the
likes of players like Sanju Samson and AB Devilliers. What makes Ipl exciting is the fact that, not just an
experienced Shane Watson an opportunity to thrill the crowd but it also provides a young prospect like
Sanju Samson an ample ground to make his way into Indian cricket and catch the eyes of the selectors. It
is a phenomenal feeling when a lesser renowned cricketer like Pravin Tambe shares the dressing room
with a legend like Rahul Dravid. It brings pure delight!

All-rounders in any form of the game are pivotal to a cricket team. Be it a bowler who can bat a bit or be
it a batsman who can bowl. Players like Shane Watson, Jaques Kallis and Keiron Pollard have shown
time and again that they can make or break a game with their expertise in batting and bowling in the Ipl.
In the past 6 editions, it has been widely noticed that some legends have graced this format, with Jaques
Kallis proving all the odds wrong and he has been always a drive live quotient. But his age and puts him
on the fringe. Here is a quick snapshot of the top 5 all-rounders to watch out for in Ipl 2014

1. James Faulkner

James Faulkner was once, considered a misfit for Australian scheme of things and said he wont fit in
any of the Australian squads. Now he is one of the most highly rated young all-rounders in world
cricket. A left-arm medium pacer and a right handed batsman, Faulkner was consistent last season
with Rajasthan Royals picking up key wickets and one of the main reasons why Rajasthan Royals
finished as one of the top teams in the competition. Low down the order he is capable of hitting
some hefty blows and knows a thing or two about hitting the ball out of the ground. As a bowler his
main weapon is a deceptive slower ball that comes from the back of his hand, has bamboozled some
of the best batsmen in world cricket. Faulkner, of late has been hitting the bulls eye with his batting
instincts for Australia. James Faulkner will be among one of the top profile all-rounders to watch out
for in Ipl 2014 and will be eager to terrorize the opposition with his attacking stroke play and
consistent bowling.

2. Stuart Binny

Stuart Binny, son of former Indian player Roger Binny has been making inroads in domestic cricket for
the past few years. Stuart Binny, rose from his dads shadow through his good show in Ipl 2013 and in
the ClT20 2013. Following the footsteps of his dad he has established himself as a quality all-rounder
and has created a name for himself. He plays for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy. Stuart Binny has often
been held guilty of not being consistent. The same was evident in his performances in 2013. He has
done well as a batsman in the Ranji Trophy. He scored 321 runs at an impressive average of 40.12. But
his bowling has been a bit disappointing. From the 6 matches he has played, he could only pick 11
wickets at a not so good average of 37.18. He turned a match winner for Rajasthan Royals with his
wonderful stroke play. His bowling has come in very handy, bit for Royals or for his first class side
Karnataka. He bowls a stump to stump which makes him difficult to get away. He has been rewarded a
national call up for the upcoming series against New Zealand. Cometh the Ipl, this pinch hitter from
Karnataka will be amongst the scheme of things and hopefully will make good use of the opportunity.

3. Rishi Dhawan

Rishi Dhawan plays for Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy. This all-rounder is to be seen as a fine
prospect for team India. He has shown a lot of promise and keeps improving day by day. In the 2012-13
season Rishi Dhawan became just the third player for Himachal Pradesh to score a century and 5 wickets
in an innings. This season Rishi Dhawan has been mighty impressive for Himachal Pradesh with his all-
round capabilities. Rishi has scored 435 runs at an average of 39.54 and 49 wickets at an impressive
average of 20.30. These are really good figures for an all-rounder. He has been the talisman for
Himachal Pradesh. He has carried his team for two seasons now. He would do himself a world of good if
he can come up with a string of all-round performances if he wants to go ahead with his team India
aspirations. There is no reason why he shouldnt do well in the Ipl. He is a player to watch out for.

4. Irfan Pathan

There was a time early in his career when we used to witness the magnificience of Irfan Pathan. He was
a swing bowler then. That hat-trick he took against Pakistan still in the minds of people. But then came a
time when his form took a dip. From a hero he became almost a zero. He was seen as probably
successor to Wasim Akram, but unfortunately he is nowhere near the Indian team. He did return at
frequent intervals, but he was not the Irfan that he once used to be. From the bowler Irfan he became
all-rounder Irfan. Irfan Pathan in the Ipl has been good. He has come with some stellar performances
with teams like Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. As a batsman,his exploits with the bat is worth
mentioning. On his day, he can cause havoc in the opposition with his lusty blows on the leg side.
Sometimes makes you wonder if at all he knows to play on the off-side. Having said all that, he is
returning from a serious injury that made him opt out of most of the Ranji matches. He played just 3
matches and scored 151 runs at 30.20 this season. And that too he couldnt bowl as he was not fully fit.
The coming Ipl is extremely crucial for Irfan Pathan, like it is last plot in the jigsaw for Virender Sehwag.
Most probably it will be his last chance of tryst with destiny. Hopefully he will be fully fit for the
tournament and does really well with the bowl and bat.

5. Azhar Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood, now an English citizen is a beligerent all-rounder. He is known for his mental
toughness and he has an un-ending love towards the gentlemens game. He was fed up of the system in
Paksitan and acquired England citizenship. He no more plays cricket for any national team, but is now a
freelancer in various t20 leagues all over the world. He is one of those rare breeds from Pakistan who
has an English type seamer in him virtous in his pursuit of line and length. When playing cricket for
Pakistan he could be trusted to raise the tempo in the death overs and go for the big blows whenever
necessary. After Pakistan lost faith in Azhar Mahmood as early as 2003, he took English county seriously
with stints for teams like Surrey, Lancashire and Kent. When t20 cricket became prominent, he made a
name for himself in this format. His performances in this format earned him a call up to the Auckland
Aces, who signed him as the overseas player. He did wonders with Auckland Aces. In the ClT20 which
Auckland qualified, he impressed the Ipl franchisee owners and in the next season of Ipl he was taken up
by Kings XI Punjab. Azhar Mahmood has been playing in the Ipl for 2 seasons now with Kings XI. In the
2013 season, he was one of the few players who turned up for the team when it needed. He consistently
contributed to the team both with the bat and ball. He scored 196 runs at an average of under 20 and
took 15 wickets at an average of 22. He maybe 38 years old, but he is a tough competitor. He will look to
play as much as his body allows. This could well be his last season.