World Cup 2023: Five all-rounders who could define the tournament

The following are five all-rounders to watch at the World Cup in India

World Cup 2023: Five all-rounders who could define the tournament PHOTO: REUTERS

HARDIK PANDYA (INDIA) Pandya's aggressive batting was forged in the heat of the Indian Premier League, with the 29-year-old leading the Gujarat Titans to a title and two straight finals. Although a back injury has hampered his career, Pandya has become a consistent and reliable performer with both bat and ball, always maintaining a calm and assured presence out in the middle when tensions run high. Primarily a middle order batter, Pandya can be promoted if India need to accelerate their innings or become the anchor in times of trouble. As a bowler, he is the man India turn to when they need some medium pace in the middle overs. 

MITCHELL MARSH (AUSTRALIA) Marsh has become the first name on Australia's team sheet after he became their de facto opener alongside David Warner following the injury to Travis Head. The 31-year-old has averaged nearly 75 in five matches on Indian soil this year and was Australia's lynchpin in the three-match series in March which the visitors won 2-1, claiming the player of the series award having scored 194 runs. Evolving from a middle-order finisher to an explosive opener, Marsh can also be a handy bowler when called upon with 54 wickets in 79 ODIs. 

SHAKIB AL HASAN (BANGLADESH) Bangladesh's elder statesman, 36-year-old Shakib is still going strong and sits top of the ICC rankings for all-rounders in ODIs as well as T20s. Shakib has been leading they way for his side since making his World Cup debut in 2007. In the 2019 edition he set the record for most runs in the group stage (606 in eight games) while he also took 11 wickets. 

RASHID KHAN (AFGHANISTAN) Rashid has become one of the sport's biggest icons despite growing up in the war-torn country. Whether he is outfoxing batsmen with his 'googly' or going after the bowlers with a healthy strike rate lower down the order, Rashid always promises entertainment. With 139 IPL wickets, which included 27 in the 2023 season, Rashid knows Indian conditions better than most. Once the record holder for the fastest to reach 100 ODI wickets, Rashid has 172 in 94 games with a healthy economy rate of just over four.

CHRIS WOAKES (ENGLAND) Woakes was not viewed as a key member of the Ashes squad when the series began earlier this year but by its end he had played three matches and was named England's Player of the Series after helping the home side tie it at 2-2. He underlined his importance with the white ball in the 2019 World Cup when he was England's third-best wicket taker (16) and contributed 134 runs as England won the title. With Jofra Archer sidelined, Woakes has been England's go-to bowler with the new ball, with the 34-year-old still clocking over 140 km/hr.