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West Indies didn't produce many top allrounders for a team that had plenty of undeniably great specialists. Still, the choice is not a difficult one
June 28, 2010
Who is an allrounder? The traditional definition says: a cricketer who can bat and bowl with equal, or almost equal, skill. He is the supporting batsman who usually bats behind the specialists, at No. 6, most times ahead of the wicketkeeper; and he is also the support for the specialist bowlers. Sometimes there are allrounders who as batsmen are as good or better than the specialists, or at least one or two of them, and sometimes there are allrounders who as bowlers are as good or better than one or two, and sometimes all, the specialists.
Over the years West Indies have been blessed with many outstanding and exciting batsmen, especially so those who bat in the middle of the order, and they have not been short of fast bowlers of quality - exceptional quality at that. Not so, however, with allrounders, and certainly not quality allrounders. The last real West Indian Test allrounder - the cricketer who can bat almost or as well as he can bowl, and who can bowl almost or as well as he can bat and with a high level of skill - to make his debut was Collie Smith, over 50 years ago.
We'll be publishing an all-time West Indies XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your allrounder click here
Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 yearsFeeds: Tony Becca
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