All time India-XI

Cricinfo has been publishing the dream teams for each country one-by-one. Since India is yet to make an appearance, I thought why not I give a shot to the all-time-XI of Indian Cricket Team.

There is no doubt who the two openers would be – Sunil Gavaskar & Virender Sehwag. I am willing to stake my life, that nobody can replace these two.

Middle Order:
Number 4 position is secure – no one can budge SRT from it.
To claim stake to the remaining two positions, I can immediately think of many players – Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Gundappa Viswanath, Pataudi, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
At the end of the day my choice would be Vengsarkar for #3, and Dravid for #5.

I know Kapil Dev is the best allrounder India has ever produced, but I would keep him as a bowler in the team, and would take in Vinoo Mankad as the batting allrounder.

Wicket Keeper:
Farokh Engineer or Kiran More or Kirmani or Dhoni? Now this is a tough one – the best batsman among these is without a doubt Dhoni, but the best wicketkeeper would be either Engineer or Kirmani. I would choose Kirmani over Engineer as he had to keep to one of the best bowlers of India – Kapil Dev, after keeping to the spin-quartet flawlessly for many years.

In all Cricinfo articles they have chosen three fast bowlers, and one spinner. I would instead go for the best four bowlers that India produced. Two players are automatically chosen – Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble.

For the other two bowlers I don’t see any clear contenders. If I look at the post-90 era, only two people stand out – Javagal Srinath and Bhajji. The spin-quartet from 70s – Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and Venkataraghavan. And India’s fast bowlers from their opening test – Amar Singh and Mohammed Nissar who earned very high praise from English batsmen even 30+ years after having played them.

I would go with B Chandrasekhar as the second spinner (he was the best of the lot), and Amar Singh (the best fast bowler India had before Kapil) as the opening partner for Kapil Dev.

The all-time India XI

Sunil Gavaskar
Virender Sehwag

Dilip Vengsarkar
Sachin Tendulkar
Rahul Dravid

Vinoo Mankad

Syed Kirmani

Kapil Dev
Anil Kumble
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar
L Amar Singh

So have I done justice to the India-XI or are there some glaring omissions?


20 Responses to “All time India-XI”

  1. 1 Karan May 25, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I’d have the following changes:
    1) Dravid at no.3
    2) BS Bedi in for Chandrashekhar- I dont prefer 2 leggies as front line spinners in my team
    3) Srinath in for Amar Singh
    4) Can we replace Vinoo Mankad with one of the Amarnath brothers? Not sure about this one though.

    The team is quite good otherwise.

  2. 2 Manoj May 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    good team man

    I too will prefer Bedi for Chandrasekhar and Zaheer khan for L Amar Singh.


  3. 3 Kunal May 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Karan, Manoj,

    My first choice for Dravid would have been #3, but then where do I accommodate Vengsarkar? At least I know Dravid can and has played at #5.

    It was a toss-up between Bedi and Chandrashekhar. I simply went for the better bowler. As for different styles, Mankad is slow-left arm bowler, so is Bedi. Had I been thinking of bowling styles, I should have picked an offie too – so I just went for the best player.

    Read this – .. I doubt Srinath/Zaheer would hold a candle to such sustained hostility as displayed by Amar Singh. But yeah given that I’ve never seen his bowling, I’d leave this one to the Cricinfo jury ๐Ÿ˜›

    I don’t think of Mohinder Amarnath as an allrounder – he was more of a batsman. He has taken just 32 wkts in 69 matches. Mankad has taken 160+ wickets in 40 odd matches, and has a batting average of 30+.
    And which brother are you referring to? His two brothers played 1 test each. I think you must be referring to his father Lala Amarnath.

    • 4 Himank May 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      Sometime back i was also thinking on the same lines, basic core is the same, a few changes

      1. Gavaskar
      2. Sehwag
      3. Dravid
      4. God
      5. Vishwanath
      6. Kapil Dev
      7. Syed Kirmani
      8. Zaheer Khan/Chandrashekhar
      9. Srinath
      10. Anil Kumble
      11. BS Bedi

      As bowling has generally been India’s weak point, I am going for 4 bowlers + Kapil Dev. Have put Vishwanath at 5, since I havnt seen him, so Dravid becomes the choice and he can come at No. 5. Dunno about Amar Singh

      Ppl like Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar, Lala Amarnath and the likes, ppl from our generation know nothing so cant comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 5 Karan May 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

        That makes it a very long tail, as Kirmani is not too renowned for his batting. In case you have Kapil Dev as no.6, I think you can think about Dhoni at 7.

      • 8 Kunal June 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

        I was not sure whether I should go for Vengsarkar or Vishwanath.. I went by some article I had read that extolled Vengsarkar, but yeah that is completely debatable.

        As for the bowlers I completely disagree with making Kapil the allrounder and having 4 more bowlers. I would keep Kapil as a full time bowler, and for two remaining positions it would be a toss-up between Chandrasekhar/Bedi and Srinath/Zaheer (although I would love to keep Amar Singh in the loop).. But I feel Zaheer’s inconsistency would go against him.

    • 9 Karan May 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Yep, it because of the styles that I pointed out Amarnath rather than Mankad- and you’r right, I referred to Lala Amarnath.
      Vengsarkar used to bat at No. 5 as well for Bombay (a few matches for India as well). I think he’s a better fit there.

      • 10 Kunal June 1, 2010 at 10:51 am

        Dravid and Vengsarkar can take any positions they want. I think both of them would rock at either #3 or #5. I would leave it to the captain to decide …

        And my choice of captain here would be Kumble ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 11 Chittaranjan May 30, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Two Leggies in the team? And as usual we turn to Sehwag or Sachin for the breakthroughs? Pah!

    BTW, a lot hinges on whether its a ‘Test XI’ or a ‘ODI XI’. Coz if its the latter, this team would be hammered.

    Dravid is THE No.3. Period. Vengsarkar is better off at #5. And I’d pick Bedi in place of Chandra, Madan Lal in place of Mankad & More (useful with the bat as well) in place of Kirmani & few other tweaks ๐Ÿ˜›

    So my All-time Indian Test XI would look like: Vishwanath, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Vengsarkar, Azharuddin, Kirmani, Kapil, Ghavri, Kumble, Bishen. (Ganguly, L. Amarnath, Engineer, Chandra, Zaheer & Amar Singh to be in the squad)

    • 12 Kunal June 1, 2010 at 11:03 am

      For breakthroughs why would I turn to Sehwag/Sachin when I’ve Mankad in my team who was one of the best allrounders India has produced. If the five bowlers are ineffectual (highly unlikely considering Kumble is there!) only then Sehwag/Sachin come into play.

      And this is a Test-XI.. Had this been an ODI-XI, I would not have kept players from pre-70s generation.

      Your all-time India-XI has one glaring omission – Sehwag.. How can you not include him?! And why Ghavri? Wasn’t he more of a bits and pieces player (a medium pace bowler and a lower order batsman). Instead of Ghavri any other bowler in your squad could come in.

      Also it is surprising I never thought of Azhar while thinking of this team. He was amazing, would have walked into any team in his prime and it is shocking he has to fight for his position for here.. I would replace him here with Sehwag, and get Vishwanath in the middle order. Shows that India has always had very good middle order batsmen.

      • 13 Chittaranjan June 4, 2010 at 12:03 am

        Well, Sehwag is the dashing opener one would always like to have in one’s team but he’s more prone to a failure than a triple-ton! Was tempted by Srikkanth but he’s more of a ODI stylist.

        Ghavri’s in coz on some pitches the dibbly-dobbly bowlers are quite effective. Imagine having a nice cloud cover and then no support for Kapil at the other end ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

        Actually, I too was tempted to consider Ganguly :mrgreen:

        • 14 Kunal June 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

          It is shocking that it is impossible to come to a consensus on who would support Kapil! India has not had any consistently competent fast-bowler since Kapil. The best option we have would be either Srinath or Zaheer.

          And Ganguly in a test-team?!? Indian middle order ke itne bure din nahi aaye hain ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 15 Utkarsh June 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    no no no no no no
    Only wall comes before God .. no one else .. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Mr Vengasakar can go pee in peace ..

    hmm . how about also including Ganguly into consideration .. he does have a good record against teams that have no mentionable fast bowlers .. and to my surprise he did make 144 in a rain hit test match in Australia ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. 18 kapss July 20, 2010 at 12:44 am

    No Subhash Gupte in the greatest indian test side? Gary Sobers called him the best leg spinner he had ever seen.

    I would have

    Mohinder Amarnath
    Kapil Dev

    Mankad as opener allows one more batsmen. Mohinder Amarnath was most definitely the most courageous Indian player during the golden era of fast bowling.

  7. 19 Manav Sharma November 3, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    According to me Vijay Hazare was a better batsman that Vengsarkar. Hazare became first Indian batsman to score century in both innnings of a test match, in 1948 Australia series in Adelaide. Adelaide Test, is also called Hazare test. This feat was equalled after 23 years by Gavaskar and then later by Dravid.

    Hazare played 30 tests for India, scoring 2,192 runs at an average of 47.65 (average was second next to Gavaskar, before arrival of Tendulkar) with seven centuries and nine fifties, and a highest score of 164 n.o. He also claimed 20 wickets at an average of 61.0. He played first class cricket till 1966-7 and scored nearly 19,000 runs with 60 centuries and claimed 595 wickets.

    And I would also choose Bapu Nadkarni instead of Anil Kumble, and would keep Chandrashekhar in the team. Why Bapu Nadkarni? you may ask?…because of his carrier economy rate of just 1.61 runs/ over. He still holds the world record for 21 consecutive maiden overs !!! Simple master of spin bowling and also a useful lower order batsmen, has Four 50’s and Two 100’s to his credit…

    My Team would be:

    Sunil Gavaskar (No doubt)

    Virender Sehwag (No doubt)

    Vijay Samuel Hazare (instead of Dilip Vengsarkar) as Hazare could also be used as bowler (dismissed Sir Don 2 times out of 4 against India in Australia)

    Sachin Tendulkar

    G. Vishwanath (instead of Rahul Dravid)

    Vinoo Mankad (batted in all 11 positions in a test match)

    F. Engineer (instead of Syed Kirmani) as he was a better WK and a better batsman, also a regular opener.

    Kapil Dev (The best of all)

    Bapu Nadkarni (instead of Anil Kumble; he was never a leg spinner, ball never used to turn)

    Bhagwath Chandrasekhar (best leg spinner, unplayable on his day, ability to take wickets when required)

    Roger Binny (instead of L Amar Singh) He was a better swing bowler, and also a useful lower order batsman.

    And My 12th man will be: Eknath Solkar (master fielder in silly point and forward short leg)

  8. 20 jinsu rajan May 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    1. Dravid @ no.3
    2. I would have pick gundappa vishwanath instead of vengsarkar at spot 5
    3. Ravi shastri as an all rounder for his slow left arm with kumble and will ommit the second spinner for him
    4. Amarnath will replace vinoo mankad
    5. Srinath in instead of amar singh i think srinath is the best fast bowler india ever produced after kapil

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