All-time XI: India

Dhoni, Kumble, Hazare in India's all-time XI

Cricinfo staff

September 14, 2010

Comments: 426 | Text size: A | A

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid concentrate hard during batting practice, Mumbai, November 30, 2009
The presence of Sehwag, Tendulkar and Dravid in the XI gives India a formidable batting line-up © AFP
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MS Dhoni has made it to ESPNcricinfo's India all-time XI, beating record-holding wicketkeepers Syed Kirmani and Kiran More, by virtue of his superior batting. Dhoni was picked by seven members of the 11-person jury, which was unanimous in voting Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Vinoo Mankad into the XI.

The No. 5 spot divided the jury the most, and Vijay Hazare, who played only eight innings in that position (one of them in the Adelaide Test of 1948, where he made two centuries), was preferred over the likes of Gundappa Viswanath, MAK Pataudi, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath and VVS Laxman.

The opening positions are taken by Virender Sehwag (10 votes) and Gavaskar, a blend of attack and defence, while the presence of Rahul Dravid (nine votes) and Tendulkar at Nos. 3 and 4 makes India's the only batting line-up among the eight leading countries, for which ESPNcricinfo has picked all-time XIs, to have over 42,000 Test runs between the top four.

Only one bowler from India's legendary spin quartet of the 70s makes it to the XI. Offspinner Erapalli Prasanna, with 189 wickets in 49 Tests, joins Anil Kumble (nine votes), Javagal Srinath and Kapil to form the bowling line-up. Allrounder Mankad, who took 162 wickets at 32.32 with his slow left-armers, completes the spin-dominated attack.

India's XI is the only one to feature just two fast bowlers. Australia had fast-bowling allrounder Keith Miller to back Dennis Lillee and Glenn McGrath, and South Africa had Mike Procter to help Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald.

Among the notable omissions, who did not make it to the XIs of any of the jury members, were former captain Mohammad Azharuddin; Bishan Bedi, perhaps the most highly rated of the spin quartet; and wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer.

ESPNcricinfo readers were invited to vote on the shortlists and their XI matched the jury's in all but one: Laxman was the readers' choice for No. 5 instead of Hazare.

The jury included former Test players Sanjay Manjrekar and Arun Lal, former Mumbai player and coach Vasu Paranjape, sports journalists Pradeep Magazine, Ayaz Memon, R Mohan and Suresh Menon, cricket historian Ramachandra Guha and television commentator Harsha Bhogle.

Read more about the XI here.

The XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Erapalli Prasanna.

Readers' XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Erapalli Prasanna.

Nominees

Openers: Sunil Gavaskar, Vijay Merchant, Virender Sehwag, Navjot Sidhu.

Middle order: Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Gundappa Viswanath, Vijay Hazare, MAK Pataudi, Mohinder Amarnath, Polly Umrigar, Sourav Ganguly, CK Nayudu, Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar.

Allrounders: Kapil Dev, Dattu Phadkar, Vinoo Mankad, Manoj Prabhakar.

Wicketkeepers: Naren Tamhane, Kiran More, Syed Kirmani, Nayan Mongia, MS Dhoni.

Fast bowlers: Javagal Srinath, Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Nissar, Amar Singh.

Spinners: Anil Kumble, Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Subhash Gupte, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Harbhajan Singh, Dilip Doshi, S Venkataraghavan, Vinoo Mankad.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MannuBhai22 on (September 17, 2010, 20:54 GMT)

I would at any time pick Laxam ahead of Hazare. Also my captain would be Gavaskar rather than Kumble because Kumble is not a guarantee for away tests. Gavaskar was only defensive because of India's strength at that time. In addition to always being shrewd, he showed on several occasions that he can be aggressive too. Remeber World Chmpnshp 85, Melbourne 81. My 12th man would be Zaheer, he would replace Prasanna/Kumble in tests where pitches are conducive to seam bowling. Also my keeper would be Kirmani though I must admit that it will be a tight race between him & Dhoni. What works in favor of Kirmani though is his excellant glovework for both pace & spin alike & his longevity without any injuries. Remember this is a specialist position & batting should not be the criteria as batting in this line up is immensely strong with 2 alrounders (Kapil & Mankad) backing up Sunny, Shewag, Dravid, Sachin & Laxman. Finally Mohinder, Gupte/Chandra, Dhoni-bkup WK & Amar Singh would complete my 16.

Posted by MannuBhai22 on (September 17, 2010, 20:41 GMT)

Except Sharda Ugra, all of them got it wrong proving they are no different than the original bunch of jokers. How can anyone with cricketing common sense not pick Laxman. He has been the architect of India's turnaround in cricketing fortunes. Laxman's average is comparable to the best if his stats as opener are taken away. Morever the value and stability that he brings to the middle order can never be measured by stats alone. It is only after his return to the middle order from being a reluctuant opener that India started winning test matches consistenly home/away & importantly not loosing as many as before. Most people seem to only remember his magical 281 but he has made innumerable contributions over the decade that proved to be the difference between a win/draw v/s loosing a test. He has been the best crisis man for team India, adept at both playing spin and pace alike. Laxman brngs his best in challenging situations unlike some of his peers.So I would pick him ahead of Hazare.

Posted by   on (September 16, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

As always Indian batting line looks very strong but bowling attack is not impressive.

Posted by ashishmitz on (September 16, 2010, 10:59 GMT)

m a little amazed the way people in india forget fews things so easily... nominating players like azharuddin is a shame on all of us.. srry if m sounding very narrow minded but how can u acclaim a person u has on a global platform let the whole contry down... u r tlking about the India Xl and u wnt to include azharuddin in tht... although u havent (jury )..... pls do think about this.. it to write this one thing tht i have logged into cricinfo..

Posted by Jkgsrt on (September 16, 2010, 6:55 GMT)

this may be the best combination. vijay hajare is the best batsman in 1950s.and average of 47 indicate this. similarly mankad is best before kapil as a allrounder spot. so it gives variety in the team as batting and bowling are concerned. he can also open for india and can bowl 50 overs in an inning with good economy rate. so he is an anonymous choice. i am pleased to see the team combination. threeworld class spinners. 4 rocking batsman 1 great batsman wktkeeper 2 world class allrounders 1medium pacer(hazare) and two fasters. all can come in a single team. a team which has great bowling side. this team can bowl 200 overs without tiredness. and the captain of this team is anil kumble with dhoni is deputy. in test kumble is the right choice. see perth test is the best example

Posted by amitava0112 on (September 15, 2010, 19:31 GMT)

Decent selection...i wud make it a 16 man test squad with Bedi,Chandra,Jimmy,VVS ,Zaheer Khan & Kirmani added to the 11 selected & Prasanna removed . If test match is played in India subcontinent (except pak)then my 1st XI is : Gavaskar ,Sehwag,Dravid,Sachin ,VVS ,Mankad,Kapil,Dhoni,Kumble, Zaheer & Chandra . If match is played abroad & Pakistan..then Jimmy comes into above team (for his superb overseas & Pak record) replacing Mankad & will bat at 3 with Sachin-4,Dravid-5 & VVS-6 & Bedi replaces Chandra for variety & the fact that Mankad is not in team. Hazare altough a great batsman misses out narrowally from both my teams mainly because VVS is a match winner & another notable absentee from my test squad is Vishwanath..anther batting great.. as Kiri is 2nd keeper if dhoni is injured. I cant resist but choosing a best Ind ODIXI also: Sachin,Saurav,Viru,Jimmy,Azhar,Yuvi,Dhoni,Kapil,Shastri Zaheer & Kumble...with Srinath in for Yuvi on a seaming track..how about this oneday side.

Posted by Jkgsrt on (September 15, 2010, 18:02 GMT)

I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR JUDGING A PLAYER BY THE PERSONS WHO ARE WRITING THEIR COMMENTS. SOME JUDGES OLD CRICKETERS ARE GOOD AND SOME WANT NEW CRICKETERS. EVERYBODY HAVE ITS CHOICES AND SELECTIONS BUT DONT CRITICISE THEMSELVES...........HE IS NOT GOOD HERE AND THERE. TODAYS CRICKETERS ARE ALWAYS DEMANDED MORE BUT YOU DONT KNOW ABOUT THE PAST. YOU SEE AN EXAMPLE............. WISDEN CRICKETER OF INDIA NAMED AS KAPIL DEV BUT THE PEOPLE CHOICE WAS SACHIN AT THAT TIME. BECAUSE AT THAT TIME KAPIL HAD A LEGENDRY STATUS AND NOW IF YOU CHOOSE BEST INDIAN CRICKETER THEN IT WOULD BE CERTAINLY SACHIN. TIME PLAY A MAJOR ROLE FOR THE GREATNESS. NOW SACHIN IS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD AND NOBODY CAN DENY HIM. IF HE MADE 15 ZEROS CONTINUOUSLY THEN HE WOULD BE SAME SIMILARLY IF HE MADE 15 HUNDREDS CONTINUOUSLY THEN IT WOULD BE SAME. HE IS ONE OF THE BEST AND ALWAYS REMAIN SAME. SO YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU ARE CRITICISING SOMEONE LIKE SRT

Posted by squarepeg on (September 15, 2010, 14:45 GMT)

Overall, the selection is good, though I would take Kirmani over Dhoni. Dhoni's wicketkeeping is quite ordinary. He looks too stiff / tired to bend low or run to the stumps when a run is taken, and hands are not soft enough for keeping to classy spinners. This team's weakest point is fielding, esp outfielding and no genuine pace. There is no surprise that Hazare got in ahead of Laxman or Mohinder Amarnath, latter one of the best players of pace bowling. But, one doesnt pick the best players but the best team. Actually, with Dravid and Hazare coming # 3 and # 5, with Mankad following, the batting lacks balance, since neither Dravid nor Hazare can accelerate. it wud hv been better to keep one of them and have a striker like Pataudi or even Vengsarkar. Its sad that none of CK or Vijay Merchant or Subhash Gupte or Amar Singh could get in. I am happy Bedi and Azhar are not in. One is pretty much a trouble maker and not that outstanding a bowler; the other, a banned cricketer.

Posted by Bamarolls on (September 15, 2010, 14:24 GMT)

@Ronita: Great recollection. Remeber what happened on the Pak tour of 78-79 our though. I recall 6:00PM Air India Radio's broadcast (paraphrased) - then Bedi came and yielded 14 - 15 runs in couple of overs to Imran making Pakistan's job easier to claim an improbable victory. Alas, only if the India team ATXI was chosen based on one Ranji finals, I'd vote for Bedi too. Contribution over long time period, that to in varying conditions, Gavaskar is an automatic choice.

Posted by Aussasinator on (September 15, 2010, 14:20 GMT)

@Boom Boom. You're right. Chandrasekhar has be fitted into the team to give it a match winning edge. Since Dhoni & kapil are capable batting all rounders, we can perhaps drop a Vinoo Mankad and take a genuine match winning bowler. In any case a 12th man would be needed and that could be Vinoo. Or else the team looks awesome.

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