The 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup has reaffirmed the importance of the multi-faceted cricketer.
Around the grounds of New Zealand in the last few weeks, we have seen some outstanding examples of the multi-faceted cricketer. Think of the fast bowling and athletic fielding combination that Kamlesh Nagarkoti of India brings. Or consider the left-arm spin and run-scoring prowess that young Rachin Ravindra gives his New Zealand team.
Gone are the days where a coach is happy for his or her players to settle for excellence in just one component of the game. Often, they won’t even settle for two.
Bowlers must now bat, batters are expected to bowl, and in modern one-day and T20 cricket, everyone must be able to field well. No longer can the fielding department’s weakest link be hidden by the captain at fine-leg or third man. Cricket has changed.
The level of importance that is placed on being an all-round cricketer in order to succeed at the highest level seems to be resonating with our brightest young cricketers. Here are just a few examples of the exciting young all-round stars that may have caught your eye.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti (India) – 7 wickets at 15.14
Widely regarded as one of the brightest young fast bowlers in the game, Nagarkoti seems to have no trouble hitting 140 kph with both accuracy and aggression. But he isn’t just a man of pace and power. He is also one of the best all-round fielders in the tournament, as his run out against Papua New Guinea demonstrates, and he’s pretty handy with the bat as well. Not bad for an opening bowler!
Will Jacks (England) – 193 runs at 38.6 and 7 wickets at 21.57
Destructive and smart, Will Jacks has huge potential with bat in hand, and is one of the most promising young players coming through the English set-up. But it’s his more recent success with off-spin that has taken his game to another dimension. Jacks returned impressive figures of 3/21 against Australia.
Bhaskar Yadram (West Indies) – 11 wickets at 18.36 and 131 runs
Born in Guyana, and with eight List A appearances already to his name at the age of 18. Yadram has impressed with his bustling medium-pace and middle-order capabilities with the bat. However, it is his ability to alternate between seam-up and off-spin that really catches the eye. Four-dimensional, you could say.
These three gifted individuals, are by no means the only ones spreading their skills across multiple facets of the game. Afif Hossain has had an impressive tournament with bat and ball for Bangladesh. Jack Edwards (Australia), Jakob Bhula (New Zealand) and Anakul Roy (India) have also stood out, and there are many more. It’s the future. Now.