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