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January 24, 2002
There will always be great debate about the best Indian XI of all time, but there is no doubt about who is the best Indian player of all time. That honour belongs to Sachin Tendulkar, according to a poll conducted on CricInfo.com in association with BT Talk and Surf Together.
The survey asked Indian fans to select their All Time Indian XI.
The little master Sachin Tendulkar was the phenomenon of the survey, with 99% of voters choosing him in one of the middle order batting positions. He was eventually chosen to appear at number three slot.
The rest of the batting, all drawn from the 1970s onwards, nevertheless has a vintage look to it. The opening partnership reunites Sunil Gavaskar and Krish Srikkanth. Dilip Vengsarkar joins current heroes Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the middle order.
The bowling, too, is formidable, reflecting India's traditional strength in the spin department. Current leggie Anil Kumble is joined by undoubted great Bishan Bedi and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar to form a formidable spin trio. The seam department can safely rely on all-rounder Kapil Dev, overwhelmingly popular with users, to operate in combination with Javagal Srinath.
It is often said that the strength of a team is illustrated by those that are left out. Such greats as Vijay Merchant, Ravi Shastri, Erapalli Prassana, and Gundappa Viswanath do not make the final eleven. Honourable mention must also go to 'keeper Farokh Engineer, who carries the drinks for his younger counterparts. The wicket-keeping position goes to Syed Kirmani who would take his place in the order at number seven to give a little extra depth to the batting.
The full CricInfo/BT Indian XI is:
1. Sunil Gavaskar
2. Krish Srikkanth
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. Dilip Vengsarkar
5. Rahul Dravid
6. Kapil Dev
7. Syed Kirmani
8. Bishan Bedi
9. Anil Kumble
10. Javagal Srinath
11. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar
12th man: Farokh Engineer
The voting continues with a new poll for the All Time Asian XI at www.btasian11.cricinfo.com
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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