Spinners September 6, 2010

Sirens of India

Picking two out of nine spinners means it's a choice between the romance of the past and the effectiveness of the present
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The stereotypical Indian batsman is all wrist and charm; the bowling cliché is the spinner, his flight luring batsmen to destruction rather in the manner of the Sirens in the adventures of Ulysses.

India's early attack was pace-oriented. Their first significant spinner Jamshedji was 41 when he made his debut in their first home Test (Wilfred Rhodes said that if he had the Indian's spin, no batting side would have reached 100). For the next Test CS Nayudu was chosen. Since then India have always had a host of spinners they could call upon.

Certainly between January 1962, when Erapalli Prasanna made his debut, and September 1983, when S Venkataraghavan played his last Test, there was an embarrassment of riches. One or the other of the spin quartet - Bishan Bedi and Bhagwath Chandrasekhar were the others - played in 98 Tests in that period. Between them they claimed 853 wickets, and attained mythical status.

The most recent spin combination is also the most successful. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh have taken 976 wickets, 501 of them in the 54 Tests they played together. The choice will be between the romance of the past and the effectiveness of the present.

The candidates

Anil Kumble
India's greatest match-winner, his role in 43 victories putting the 23 wins inspired by the spin quartet in perspective. Kumble claimed 288 wickets for 19 runs each at a strike-rate of 44 in those matches. Only the second bowler to claim all 10 in an innings, his 619 victims place him third in the overall list. Kumble was as much a presence as a performer: tough but fair, inspired as well as inspiring.

Bishan Bedi
Jim Laker once said his idea of heaven was to watch Ray Lindwall bowl from one end and Bedi from the other. Trevor Bailey wrote that "Bedi was much more than just another great bowler; he was above all an artist who brought to his craft a beauty that was timeless." His 266 wickets in 67 Tests meant that this was no beauty without cruelty, for Bedi teased the batsmen to their doom.

Erapalli Prasanna
His first 100 wickets came in just 20 Tests, as the offspinner used flight to make the batsman lunge for the ball that never arrived. His run up was deceptively simple, and fielders near the wicket swore they could hear the "whirr" of the ball as it approached the batsman. His decision to complete an engineering degree early in his career and then selectorial manoeuvres later restricted his appearances to 49 Tests.

Subhash Gupte
The legspinner's record of 149 wickets in 36 Tests did not do him justice in the years when India's catching was the worst in the world. He was the first Indian to claim all 10 wickets in a first-class innings, and with Vinoo Mankad formed the first pair of great spinners to operate together. "To me," wrote Garry Sobers who played against him, "Gupte was a better bowler than Shane Warne."

Bhagwath Chandrasekhar
One of few bowlers in history capable of producing the "unplayable" ball. He bowled his legspinners at medium pace, which was incredible given that his arm had been weakened by a childhood attack of polio. Played the crucial role in India's first wins in England and Australia. Continues to hold the Indian record for the most wickets in a series, 35, against England at home and has over 1000 first-class wickets despite not having played county cricket.

Harbhajan Singh
The first Indian with a Test hat-trick, he had 32 wickets against Australia in a three-Test series. A modern offspinner at home in all three forms of the game, Harbhajan bowls the doosra and recently has developed the happy knack of getting runs in the lower half of the order. Chosen by Muralitharan as his successor, capable of matching his own aggregate number of wickets.

Dilip Doshi
One of only two bowlers (the other being Clarrie Grimmett) to claim a hundred Test wickets after making a debut in the 30s. Having to compete with Bedi for a slot restricted the younger Doshi's international appearances, but he was a world-class performer who would have walked into any other team.

S Venkataraghavan
Good enough to play for India at 18, he was still playing 18 years later but had to contend with the more successful Prasanna through much of his career. He was the better batsman and an outstanding fielder at gully, and easily the fittest spinner of his generation. His 8 for 72 against New Zealand was the best in an innings among the quartet.

Vinoo Mankad
Held India's aggregate record, 162 wickets, for years before Bedi relieved him of it. Figures of 8 for 55 and 4 for 53 inspired India's first Test win, against England. Mankad had a slightly round-arm action and his control was remarkable. Flight was his weapon, as a contemporary pointed out, adding, "to rely on the vagaries of the wicket would have been a reflection on the purity of his art".

We'll be publishing an all-time India XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your spinners click here

Suresh Menon is a writer based in Bangalore

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    corrections- raju avgd well over over 50 away under Azhar; both kumble n raju avgd under 30 at home under azhar but overall these 2 +chauhan avgd overall over 30 under azhar; chandra avgd under 30 under wadekar n bedi (bedi under 26 under himself n pat) n just a fraction over 30 under pat; the only trio of spinners that together overall home n away together avgd under 30 under any indian captain were bedi, pras/venkat,chandra under Pat. this again confirms statistically the view contrary to popular perceptions that 2 spinners are sufficient, the 3rd quality spinner often (of course never always) redundant and the 3 spinner strategy as evidenced by respective bowling averages of the quartet worked best briefly under Pat only. Venkat too avgd under 30 only under Pat. Perhaps the superb close in catchers 66-74 missing from the list of contenders may've helped too (but not needed by bedi/chandra under bedi). Any way, in the circumstances 2 spinners are appropriate for the Indian AT XI

  • Rumy1 on September 9, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    No matter how much discussion we have and delve into the nitty gritty of talent vs contribution, conditions vs luck, strength of opposition vs place in own team, international pitches vs home pitches, old era vs modern era, etc. it boils down to this balanced All Time X1 side....Gavasar, Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Azhar, Kapil, Kirmani, Srinath, Zaheer, Kumble and Chandrashekhar. Thanks

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    i mentioned others may attach different weight to these issues? btw gavaskar had centuries at brisbane, perth, melbourne 77 vs thommo, ; under azhar away from ind (tailor made spin tracks), sl, zim, kumble avgd about 37, chauhan 37.28 overall under azhar, and raju well over away under azhar; of course a different story at home on tailor made tracks; but the AT XIs of other countries have batsman who scored runs in india and spinners who took alot of wickets here unlike most of the sides thrashed at home by azhars team in 90s and some fast men succeeded in india too; so tailor made AT XIs at home mayn't be the answer for these AT XIs other countries. so i wouldn't really compare azhars handling of his spin trio with pataudi's. btw bedi n chandra both avgd under 30 under bedi. and together about 9.5 wkts per test under bedi (2/3 away). btw sla sunil joshi couldve also delivered more if better handled avgd 78 under azhar, and bhajji avgd over 40 overall under azhar

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    the away averages of azhars spin trio?

  • Navillus on September 9, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    @buntyj - Why only Pataudi's era? India were immensely successful with 3 spinners under Azhar as well. Kumble, Chauhan and Raju, sometimes Joshi ... an early Harbhajan ... as for others - I think bouncy wickets are just one sort of wicket and not the only type of wicket a good batsman needs to bat on. A great batsman is one who is consistently successful on bouncy tracks, swinging conditions and spinning wickets ... and of all Indian batsmen, Gavaskar (almost), Sehwag, Sachin, Dravid, Hazare and Laxman (almost) can lay claim to that. At the risk of flogging a sacred cow, gavaskar did score runs all over the world, but failed when tested by fast men on real fast tracks. but he fits there. Mohinder was dreadful on Indian wickets and also took a lot of blows on the head in between some glorious knocks & avged 38 against WI. vengsarkar was suspect on bouncy tracks, umrigar suspect against genuine pace, sourav - inconsistent and dreaded short ball, vishy - inconsistent post beer belly.

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    for those who prefer 3 spinners may i point out that this was most successful under pataudi's captaincy if we look at bowling averages (bedi/pras each below 30, chandra just over 30 all under pat); from the trio's averages its clear they usually didnt do so well under other captains; so, my question are they choosing pataudi in their AT XI and as captain? if not how can they assume other captains would surrender their personas and imitate him? and from contenders where are the close in catchers to support that pat insisted on? only azhar (never at fwd sh leg), pat (pre injury only close in), amar top notch fielders; dravid, laxman good but not in class of solkar surti subrahmanyam etc; kapil, tendulkar not at sh legs, sunny at midfield. yes i recall kapil's lean spells; but still best all rounder (only 1 with higher batting -above 30-than bowling average -below 30, for start)

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    i also admit i've given more weight than some might to the following issues (especially away)- if on a seaming track or swing friendly conditions would he remember where his off stump was? many of the contenders did pass this test; next was more difficult- on fast/bouncy track, 4 pacers, no restrictions on bouncers would he handle it? yes for gavaskar, tendulkar, amarnaths, 3 vijays, pataudi, engineer, nayudu, borde, surti (and marginal for vishy, laxman, dravid) no for most others; next q for those who get yes- would theyve survived or counter attacked? only amarnaths, pataudi, engineer, nayudu, surti regularly attacked short fast stuff particularly away. hence i stand by my proposed AT XI- Merchant, Gavaskar (V-C), Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Engineer (WK), Kapil Dev, Amar Singh, Bedi (Capt), Nissar, Chandrasekhar 12th man Pataudi, close calls Sehwag at no 5, Gupte as spinner. Prasanna and Tamhane making the 16 the fielding is weak but i doubt if any Indian AT XIs will be better

  • avinash11may on September 9, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    An all time T20 team would be very interesting. How do we select players who might have been suitable for the shortest format of the game, but never got a chance to play. People like Srikanth, Umrigar, C K Nayadu, Salim Durrani, Engineer, etc were made for this format. My team would be 1. Sehwag/Srikanth, 2. Tendulkar, 3. Ganguly/ Gambhir, 4. Azhar/ Vengsarkar, 5. Yuvraj/ Umrigar/ Ajay Jadeja, 6. Dhoni/Engineer, 7. Kapil Dev, 8. Durrani/Shastri, 9. Zaheer/ Srinath, 10. Kumble/Harbhajan/ Amar Singh and 11. Bedi/Chandra/ Prasanna. It is obvious that only Tendulkar and Kapil Dev are sure starters, all the rest positions have stiff competition. And now think of a West Indies all time XI: 1.Greenidge, 2. Gayle, 3. Lara, 4. Richards, 5. Lyod, 6. Sobers, 7. Dujon, 8. Marshal, 9. Ambrose, 10. Holding and 11. Garner... my goodness!!!! can anyone match them???? even a worlds XI?

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    corrections : bedi- missed auckland test 76 so 1 less test as captain; 14/22 tests away; also was well used by pataudi too (avg below 26); didnt adjust well to bombay tactics; if pak 78 excluded avg as captain from 19 tests with 11 away would be under 22; match 10 for in narrow loss as capt at spinners graveyard perth 77; yes murali kartik couldve been better used too; pak- 78 - pras was in the team; vengsarkar did ok too. so i would retain bedi in my AT XI and as captain. complemented chandra since they were diff types n since 70s chandra on return after injury bowled mainly googlies n flippers rather than his 60s legbreaks; gupte vs chandra- everything i've read has always convinced me that gupte was better but chandra could produce matchwinning unplayable balls including away in all countries save pak. hence i opt for chandra but its very close. the other close call is no 5 where i opt for laxman but could easily think of sehwag there; another close call.

  • Navillus on September 9, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    @buntyj: I agree with most of your analysis but 2. first your insistence for Mohinder Amarnath in place of Dravid, which is too ridiculous to dignify with another argument. The second about an average seamer for someone like Prasanna or Venkat. about bedi, you are correct. Very few captains have actually used a left arm spinner well. If you look at Murali Kartick's record again that is very evident. Saurav, who had exceptional bias for harbhajan using Zaheer's footmarks, actually used him atrociously. It is only under Dravid that he flourished breifly. careful handling may have made a very good spinner out of him. If Indian AT XI play in India, I think they ought to go with 3 spinners. Abroad, Australia, England etc. they can try 3 pacers 1 spinner ploy - but the pacers have to be Kapil (pre 83), Nissar and Amar Singh. By the way, is it well known that for more than two years in the mid 80s Kapil went without a wicket at home?

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    corrections- raju avgd well over over 50 away under Azhar; both kumble n raju avgd under 30 at home under azhar but overall these 2 +chauhan avgd overall over 30 under azhar; chandra avgd under 30 under wadekar n bedi (bedi under 26 under himself n pat) n just a fraction over 30 under pat; the only trio of spinners that together overall home n away together avgd under 30 under any indian captain were bedi, pras/venkat,chandra under Pat. this again confirms statistically the view contrary to popular perceptions that 2 spinners are sufficient, the 3rd quality spinner often (of course never always) redundant and the 3 spinner strategy as evidenced by respective bowling averages of the quartet worked best briefly under Pat only. Venkat too avgd under 30 only under Pat. Perhaps the superb close in catchers 66-74 missing from the list of contenders may've helped too (but not needed by bedi/chandra under bedi). Any way, in the circumstances 2 spinners are appropriate for the Indian AT XI

  • Rumy1 on September 9, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    No matter how much discussion we have and delve into the nitty gritty of talent vs contribution, conditions vs luck, strength of opposition vs place in own team, international pitches vs home pitches, old era vs modern era, etc. it boils down to this balanced All Time X1 side....Gavasar, Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Azhar, Kapil, Kirmani, Srinath, Zaheer, Kumble and Chandrashekhar. Thanks

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    i mentioned others may attach different weight to these issues? btw gavaskar had centuries at brisbane, perth, melbourne 77 vs thommo, ; under azhar away from ind (tailor made spin tracks), sl, zim, kumble avgd about 37, chauhan 37.28 overall under azhar, and raju well over away under azhar; of course a different story at home on tailor made tracks; but the AT XIs of other countries have batsman who scored runs in india and spinners who took alot of wickets here unlike most of the sides thrashed at home by azhars team in 90s and some fast men succeeded in india too; so tailor made AT XIs at home mayn't be the answer for these AT XIs other countries. so i wouldn't really compare azhars handling of his spin trio with pataudi's. btw bedi n chandra both avgd under 30 under bedi. and together about 9.5 wkts per test under bedi (2/3 away). btw sla sunil joshi couldve also delivered more if better handled avgd 78 under azhar, and bhajji avgd over 40 overall under azhar

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    the away averages of azhars spin trio?

  • Navillus on September 9, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    @buntyj - Why only Pataudi's era? India were immensely successful with 3 spinners under Azhar as well. Kumble, Chauhan and Raju, sometimes Joshi ... an early Harbhajan ... as for others - I think bouncy wickets are just one sort of wicket and not the only type of wicket a good batsman needs to bat on. A great batsman is one who is consistently successful on bouncy tracks, swinging conditions and spinning wickets ... and of all Indian batsmen, Gavaskar (almost), Sehwag, Sachin, Dravid, Hazare and Laxman (almost) can lay claim to that. At the risk of flogging a sacred cow, gavaskar did score runs all over the world, but failed when tested by fast men on real fast tracks. but he fits there. Mohinder was dreadful on Indian wickets and also took a lot of blows on the head in between some glorious knocks & avged 38 against WI. vengsarkar was suspect on bouncy tracks, umrigar suspect against genuine pace, sourav - inconsistent and dreaded short ball, vishy - inconsistent post beer belly.

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    for those who prefer 3 spinners may i point out that this was most successful under pataudi's captaincy if we look at bowling averages (bedi/pras each below 30, chandra just over 30 all under pat); from the trio's averages its clear they usually didnt do so well under other captains; so, my question are they choosing pataudi in their AT XI and as captain? if not how can they assume other captains would surrender their personas and imitate him? and from contenders where are the close in catchers to support that pat insisted on? only azhar (never at fwd sh leg), pat (pre injury only close in), amar top notch fielders; dravid, laxman good but not in class of solkar surti subrahmanyam etc; kapil, tendulkar not at sh legs, sunny at midfield. yes i recall kapil's lean spells; but still best all rounder (only 1 with higher batting -above 30-than bowling average -below 30, for start)

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    i also admit i've given more weight than some might to the following issues (especially away)- if on a seaming track or swing friendly conditions would he remember where his off stump was? many of the contenders did pass this test; next was more difficult- on fast/bouncy track, 4 pacers, no restrictions on bouncers would he handle it? yes for gavaskar, tendulkar, amarnaths, 3 vijays, pataudi, engineer, nayudu, borde, surti (and marginal for vishy, laxman, dravid) no for most others; next q for those who get yes- would theyve survived or counter attacked? only amarnaths, pataudi, engineer, nayudu, surti regularly attacked short fast stuff particularly away. hence i stand by my proposed AT XI- Merchant, Gavaskar (V-C), Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Engineer (WK), Kapil Dev, Amar Singh, Bedi (Capt), Nissar, Chandrasekhar 12th man Pataudi, close calls Sehwag at no 5, Gupte as spinner. Prasanna and Tamhane making the 16 the fielding is weak but i doubt if any Indian AT XIs will be better

  • avinash11may on September 9, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    An all time T20 team would be very interesting. How do we select players who might have been suitable for the shortest format of the game, but never got a chance to play. People like Srikanth, Umrigar, C K Nayadu, Salim Durrani, Engineer, etc were made for this format. My team would be 1. Sehwag/Srikanth, 2. Tendulkar, 3. Ganguly/ Gambhir, 4. Azhar/ Vengsarkar, 5. Yuvraj/ Umrigar/ Ajay Jadeja, 6. Dhoni/Engineer, 7. Kapil Dev, 8. Durrani/Shastri, 9. Zaheer/ Srinath, 10. Kumble/Harbhajan/ Amar Singh and 11. Bedi/Chandra/ Prasanna. It is obvious that only Tendulkar and Kapil Dev are sure starters, all the rest positions have stiff competition. And now think of a West Indies all time XI: 1.Greenidge, 2. Gayle, 3. Lara, 4. Richards, 5. Lyod, 6. Sobers, 7. Dujon, 8. Marshal, 9. Ambrose, 10. Holding and 11. Garner... my goodness!!!! can anyone match them???? even a worlds XI?

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    corrections : bedi- missed auckland test 76 so 1 less test as captain; 14/22 tests away; also was well used by pataudi too (avg below 26); didnt adjust well to bombay tactics; if pak 78 excluded avg as captain from 19 tests with 11 away would be under 22; match 10 for in narrow loss as capt at spinners graveyard perth 77; yes murali kartik couldve been better used too; pak- 78 - pras was in the team; vengsarkar did ok too. so i would retain bedi in my AT XI and as captain. complemented chandra since they were diff types n since 70s chandra on return after injury bowled mainly googlies n flippers rather than his 60s legbreaks; gupte vs chandra- everything i've read has always convinced me that gupte was better but chandra could produce matchwinning unplayable balls including away in all countries save pak. hence i opt for chandra but its very close. the other close call is no 5 where i opt for laxman but could easily think of sehwag there; another close call.

  • Navillus on September 9, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    @buntyj: I agree with most of your analysis but 2. first your insistence for Mohinder Amarnath in place of Dravid, which is too ridiculous to dignify with another argument. The second about an average seamer for someone like Prasanna or Venkat. about bedi, you are correct. Very few captains have actually used a left arm spinner well. If you look at Murali Kartick's record again that is very evident. Saurav, who had exceptional bias for harbhajan using Zaheer's footmarks, actually used him atrociously. It is only under Dravid that he flourished breifly. careful handling may have made a very good spinner out of him. If Indian AT XI play in India, I think they ought to go with 3 spinners. Abroad, Australia, England etc. they can try 3 pacers 1 spinner ploy - but the pacers have to be Kapil (pre 83), Nissar and Amar Singh. By the way, is it well known that for more than two years in the mid 80s Kapil went without a wicket at home?

  • on September 9, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    ssenthil..y r people picking ms dhoni is because he is only 29 and he will b india`s best batwk of all time...

  • Guruprasad_Kusugal on September 9, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    hi all

    Here is my all time Indian great side of till date... 1 Gavaskar, 2 sehwag, 3 Dravid, 4 Sachin, 5 vishwanath, 6 Kirmani, 7 Kapildev,/vinu mankad, 8 Srinath, 9 Kapildev/ Amarsingh, 10 Anil kumble, 11 chandrashekar/prasanna, 12 bedi.

  • Chetzz on September 9, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Well... Unfortunaltely some of the best spinners will miss out. Sobers said that Gupte is the best he has seen, Amar singh, Vinoo Mankad and Others are also there. I would pick, 1. Sunil Gavaskar 2. Virender Sehwag 3. Rahul Dravid 4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. Gundappa Vishwanath... India has not lost a match in which he scored a century 6. Vijay Hazare... Just look at his records, awesome player.... 7. Kapil Dev... Best all rounder 8. Syed Kirmani.... Would have gone for Dhoni, but we already have a great batting line up. 9. Javagal Srinath... Best fast bowler India has produced, always bowled his heart out. 10. Anil Kumble ... greatest match Winner India has ever produced. 11. E.A.S. Prasanna... Best off spinner for India 12. V.V.S. Laxman.. Very Very Special 13. B.S. Chandra Shekar / Bedi... depends on the pitch, if we need extra spinners.

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    re dravid- in the role of 'the wall' i rate merchant n hazare higher; at no 3 - have already commented on dravids away record in rsa, sl; apart from this a few observations re dravid in windies (3 tours, last 2 poor windies attacks, slower tracks, avg below 40 but commendable 78 at barbados 97); and in oz-3 tours of oz for india,+1 test world xi avg just around 40; poor first tour (fastest tracks, oz attack at best), improved with time (but tracks slowed a bit), only ton matchwinning 233 on days 2/3 featherbed adelaide, notable 92 at perth 08; 90odd at melbourne 04 when partnering sehwag (195) oz attack in disarray, unable to carry on same way once viru was out. unfortunately a pattern emerges from dravid's filtered stats thats inconsistent with his overall career away stats

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    in oz with rare exceptions perth, melbourne, brisbane are usually quicker than sydney (sometimes quick as in 80-81), n adelaide (featherbed days 1-3, sudden deterioration day 4, dead on day 5 and some breeze/humidity assistance sometimes to swing bowlers from just before tea); the oz attack in 77-78 while without lillee had threat express thommo n for this reason alone was one of the stronger attacks faced by indian batsman away; mohinder amarnath scored 47 at brisbane, 90,100 at perth, 72,41 at melbourne; in windies barbados is usually fastest, sometimes jamaica (as in underprepared minefield 76 holding, daniel, julien, holder) , amarnath scored 60 of 97/5 innings over in jamaica 76, 91,80 barbados 83. windies 83 had generally fastest tracks so far faced by india in windies and most threatening pace attack of alltime; we heard the commentary, read reports n saw pics of blood soaked mohinder; as in pak 82-83 mohinder took the attack to the bowlers as no1 else did not gav nor greg ch

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    re pataudi- i believe he was showing rare (in india) modesty n candour (on diffuculty adjusting abroad); he had a decent away record n county experience in eng that wouldve helped in 71,74 (42 all out at lords), and windies 71 were transition team without quality pacer slow tracks, shouldntve been a prob. i also believe ashok mankad if persisted with in mid order wouldve been a stalwart, n with amarnath bros shouldve made the team from 72-73. but then i believe kapil shouldve toured oz 77-78, n the team in pak 78 ought to've been -gav,chau, surinder,vishy,mankad, mohinder,kapil, kiri, goel,venkat, valson; hindsight n if wishes were horses...; mohinder as seamer in place of pras in 78 is a no brainer poor selection;

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    bedi's test bowling average as captain of about 24/wkt with sufficiently representative 4/6 series (5 countries), 15/23 away tests including disastrous 3 test tour of pak 78 (bedi wasnt first nor last indian cricketer to spoil a good record by lingering on a season or 2 too long), even lower than 24 if pak 78 excluded, has a number of implications- first, this is the best average by an indian bowler by far, secondly, reflects poorly on use of bedi by other captains, pataudi built attack around pras with 2/3/4 spinners in support roles without proper purpose, wadekar similarly around venkat windies 71 and chandra vs eng 71-74 and neither used bedi to his full potential. thirdly, this also exposes the redundancy of the 3/4 spinners; the strategy succeeded in 71 windies as they were in transition with no quality pacer, eng 71 due to novelty/surprise/luck (couldve been 2-1 against india), home adv vs eng 72-73; was brutally exposed in eng 74. superb close in support only from 67-74 really

  • buntyj on September 9, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    bedi's test bowling average as captain of about 24/wkt with sufficiently representative 4/6 series (5 countries), 15/23 away tests including disastrous 3 test tour of pak 78 (bedi wasnt first nor last indian cricketer to spoil a good record by lingering on a season or 2 too long), even lower than 24 if pak 78 excluded, has a number of implications- first, this is the best average by an indian bowler by far, secondly, reflects poorly on use of bedi by other captains, pataudi built attack around pras with 2/3/4 spinners in support roles without proper purpose, wadekar similarly around venkat windies 71 and chandra vs eng 71-74 and neither used bedi to his full potential. thirdly, this also exposes the redundancy of the 3/4 spinners; the strategy succeeded in 71 windies as they were in transition with no quality pacer, eng 71 due to novelty/surprise/luck (couldve been 2-1 against india), home adv vs eng 72-73; was brutally exposed in eng 74. superb close in support only from 67-74 really

  • tusharsb on September 9, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    More ------ 4 - If there was something called magic in cricket, then Gupte was the magician. - Vinoo Mankad

    5 - Bapu Nadkarni: ``You will not believe me but I think if Gupte had bowled a bad ball frequently, he would have taken more wickets because a sudden, loose delivery, disrupts a batsman's concentration. It would have been a sacrilege, though, to tell Subhash to bowl such a ball''.

    6 - ``I cannot imagine, what he would have done on today's spinners-paradise wickets'' Nari Contractor.

  • tusharsb on September 9, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Looks like most of the people are unaware of the best ever spinner from India - Subhash Gupte.

    1 - Big spiining Leg spin (He could turn it on a glass - Gavaskar), two types of googlies, one that was quicker, and the other that came in slower. Good top-spinner. He had a lethal flipper as well, and superb control of length.

    2 - "I don't think cricket will ever see a bowler like Gupte. You may see Prasanna, Bedi, Chandrasekhar, Venkataraghavan and Shane Warne." - Prasanna

    3 - "Warne's a great bowler but the best leg-spinner I've ever seen is still (Subhash) Gupte. He could do things that I still don't believe all these years later," Sobers told the Australian.

  • ak1983 on September 9, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag ,Dravid , Sachin Tendulkar, Vishwanath ,Kapil Dev, Syed Kirmani, Shrinath, Bishen Singh Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar,

  • viv1973 on September 9, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    3 spinners and all leg spinners ??? need Prasanna instead of anil Kumble ! MS Dhoni not fit 2 compete as great wicket keeper, Syed Kirmaniwill b better choice ! Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, G. Vishwanath, Sachin Tendulkar, Vinu Mankad,Kapil Dev, Syed Kirmani, Mohd. Nissar, Bishen Singh Bedi, E. Prasanna, B. S. Chandrashekhar,

  • sbansban on September 9, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    The 5th batsman's slot is the iffiest, and we have 2 great allrounders, so we should play 4 pure batsmen and 2 all rounders all of whom select themselves, 2 fast men and 2 spinners. That'll give us 6 batsmen and 6 bowlers and make best use of our strengths rather than get bogged down by lack of flexibility inherent in selection by formulaic numbers like 5 batsmen, 1 allrounder etc. So, for me it's GAVASKAR, SEHWAG, DRAVID, TENDULKAR, KAPIL, VINOO, DHONI, AMAR SINGH, KUMBLE, NISSAR, PRASANNA. 2 lightning quick pacers and a champion swinger / seamer, 3 wily spinners who can bowl all day long and a team that bats down to number 7 (9, if we lower the standards a bit to include Amar Singh and Kumble). The only reason Subhash Gupte loses out to Prasanna is because 3 legspinners and no offie is not viable. Unfortunately, the final team chosen by Cricinfo and the readers won't be this, because of the aforementioned fixed quotas laid down for no. of batsmen, allrounders, pacers and spinners.

  • shshyash on September 8, 2010, 18:47 GMT

    MY XI : Sunil Gavaskar, Sehwag, Darvid, Sachin, Vishawnath,Vinoo Makad, MS DHONI, Kapil Dev, Amar Singh, Anil Kumble, VB Chandrashejhar as INDIA Spin ane Batting Specialist 3 spinner are in team and 2 paces 12th Man Shrinath when india need extra Pace bolwer

  • deepaksam on September 8, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    When will the XI be announced?

  • MiddleStump on September 8, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    @buntyj:What do you mean by coming into the picture? It was always a plan executed by 3 spinners. It is easy to forget the strategy. On the 76 tour of West Indies, the best bowler was acknowledged to be Venkat who had Viv Richards tied up in knots. On average Richards had at least one life before reaching 20. Kirmani was awful and the main culprit. In New Zealand, Pras was the match winner at Auckland. Venkat won a test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad. Then it was termed 'unofficial'. They sure bowled a lot of overs, more than any pacer if at all there was one. For a fair comparison we need to make a list of 'seamers' (however phony) in that era and check their contribution when selected. As for Pataudi's batting in the 70's, the less said the better. Even in a recent interview he has acknowledged his difficulty batting abroad. He skipped all tours between 70 and 74. In 78 Mohinder played instead of the 3rd spinner Pras who was 38 yrs old. India was thrashed by Pakistan. Enough said.

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    for the record i rate gupte the best ever traditional (chandra wasnt traditional but a proven matchwinner away) indian leggie n in all time best 3 (with warne, oreilly- not entirely traditional but more so than kumble, chandra); pras the best ever indian offie by far (ghulam 2nd but some way behind) and among top 6-7 ever (gibbs, tayfield, laker, trumble, ramadhin, murali being others) and bedi as the best indian sla (mankad, baloo, durrani, goel not that far behind) and among 6 -7 best ever (eng too had a long line from peel to rhodes to verity to wardle to underwood, windies valentine 50-54); and i greatly admire kumble's yeoman service to indian cricket

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    for the record i rate gupte the best ever traditional (chandra wasnt traditional but a proven matchwinner away) indian leggie n in all time best 3 (with warne, oreilly- not entirely traditional but more so than kumble, chandra); pras the best ever indian offie by far (ghulam 2nd but some way behind) and among top 6-7 ever (gibbs, tayfield, laker, trumble, ramadhin, murali being others) and bedi as the best indian sla (mankad, baloo, durrani, goel not that far behind) and among 6 -7 best ever (eng too had a long line from peel to rhodes to verity to wardle to underwood, windies valentine 50-54); and i greatly admire kumble's yeoman service to indian cricket

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    i will confess though that at the start of both the AT XI process and again at the Indian AT XI process I was reeling off my team as- Gavaskar, Merchant/Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Vishwanath, engineer/dhoni, kapil dev, v mankad, prasanna, nissar/srinath, chandra/gupte/kumble;12th man surti; kumble as captain or gavaskar if kumble didnt make the team the changes in AT XI i did finally propose were due to rigorous re examination of records, quality of opposition/circumstances, indian n foreign peer ratings, the contenders on offer, and questioning my preferences, and triggering memories of childhood commentary and then watching at ground or tv,childhood reading cricket books/biographies, newspaper articles (ind/eng), magazines (sportsweeks, old sports n pastimes, wisden, the cricketer) and if averages alone dictated my choices, amarnath would never had been selected in my AT XI

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    i will confess though that at the start of both the AT XI process and again at the Indian AT XI process I was reeling off my team as- Gavaskar, Merchant/Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Vishwanath, engineer/dhoni, kapil dev, v mankad, prasanna, nissar/srinath, chandra/gupte/kumble;12th man surti; kumble as captain or gavaskar if kumble didnt make the team the changes in AT XI i did finally propose were due to rigorous re examination of records, quality of opposition/circumstances, indian n foreign peer ratings, the contenders on offer, and questioning my preferences, and triggering memories of childhood commentary and then watching at ground or tv,childhood reading cricket books/biographies, newspaper articles (ind/eng), magazines (sportsweeks, old sports n pastimes, wisden, the cricketer) and if averages alone dictated my choices, amarnath would never had been selected in my AT XI

  • thisgameislife on September 8, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    kumble and chandra having a go at the batsmen - the drinks breaks would be very eagerly anticipated by the poor men at the crease...

  • amitava0112 on September 8, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    My overall final india Test XI: Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid,Tendulkar,VVS,V Mankad,Kapildev,Dhoni,Kumble,Zaheer,Chandra..notable missouts Vishy, Hazare, Jimmy & Bedi...only a few changes in team is playing abroad...Jimmy Amarnath -having an exceptional overseas record comes in place of V Mankad & bats at no 3 or 5 & for variety Bedi leftarm comes in for Chandra..Dhoni is the capt & wk with Gavaskar vc. ..i am also naming a ODI 50 over India XI as follows: Tendulkar, Ganguly(c), Sehwag,Jimmy,Azhar,Yuvraj, Kapil,Shastri,Dhoni(vc/wk),Kumble,Zaheer..on a faster pitch Srinath in for Shastri..so no room for dravid (over 10000 ODI runs),VVS in ODI team...& T20 best India XI: Tendulkar(did not play for india in T20 but shd hv been a guaranteed success),Sehwag,Gambhir,Yuvraj,Dhoni,Y Pathan,Kapil(like sachin another guaranteed success),Shastri(his late ovr 6 hitting wud be handy plus his tight spin),Harbhajan,Zaheer & Srinath (pace can be handy in t20)....

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    3 seamers 2 spinners reflects good balance especially away, nz n windies both included a spinner for balance though they could easily have no spinners; i pick bedi/chandra as my spin twins but could settle for gupte/chandra as the 2 best spinners especially away; my AT India XI from contenders for each role- merchant, gavaskar, amarnath, tendulkar, laxman, kapil, amar singh, kirmani, bedi/gupte, nissar, chandra; 12th man pataudi bedi as captain (his bowling avg as captain was around 24 with 4/6 series, 15/23 tests away and he had lots of bottle like pataudi n kumble or ganguly) or gavaskar if gupte plays ahead of bedi; my preferred team (including others not in contention)- same as above but with sehwag for laxman at no 5 (or at no 3 with amarnath at no 5- we need at least 1 decent player of short pitched bowling even if with helmet), and engineer at no 6 for kirmani (kapil at no 7, amar singh at no 8) and since engineer played short stuff courageously without helmet;

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    @avinash11may- good points in principle, but selecting players who were unfortunate due to circumstances not to play more tests in india's early years, is different from ignoring players who were dropped as flat wicket specialists unlikely to succeed vs pace; kambli vs windies in india 90s looked nearly as embarrassing to india (not just out of place) as umrigar in eng 52;

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    @navillus- btw hunte, sobers, kanhai have auto/bigraphies covering 58-62 too; while all praise gupte (58) they were all unimpressed by umrigar, despite his 172 in the 4th test 62; hall bowled only a few overs, forgettable 2nd seamer; gibbs n sobers bowled over a 100 overs of spin in the innings; there were chances, durrani had already scored a ton, and india were already 3-0 down in the series- reminds one more of the odd ton scored by lower order visiting batsmen in tests/series already as good as lost in india in last 17 years; his away average owes alot to mid 50s tours of windies/pak when they didnt have a single genuine pacer; similarly in 9 tests, 18 innings in 2 tours eng he entered double figures 6 times, avg around 18, second highest score in 30s, 118 in final innings in eng 59, with only tired underbowled trueman in attack with most of the bowling done by barrington, illingworth, dexter and chances; failed at home vs oz

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    @navilllus- i see you include zak in your 3rd xi whose only claim to away fame other than bd, zim, nz is eng 2007; so a good performance in eng can't be too bad; india have in away tests played 3 ordinary seamers (sri made your 2nd xi, zak your 3rd) n 1 spinner in noughties with greater success by and large than in the past; certainly the spinners left out while not in the class of gupte, chandra, pras or bedi were certainly better than at least the 2nd/3rd seamers selected; but even a fair seamer helped counter away teams strategy of seaming or bouncing tracks vs india; most successfully in eng 86, perth08; i notice you select mankad at no 6 as an allrounder in your first xi. v mankad at no1 had a good batting average; but he was often played in vain at nos 3-7 , especially below 20 at 3-6 (11.2 at no 6, as absurd as later forcing his son to open when he was a good mid order bat); if wishes were horses.. ; v mankad has a middle order batting record and its awful; away bowling sr120

  • Navillus on September 8, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Test team for away games: Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Hazare, Kapil, Kirmani, Amar Singh, Kumble, Nissar / Prasanna

    2nd xi Merchant, Gambhir, Vengsarkar, Vishwanath, M. Amarnath, Mankad, Phadkar, Engineer, Zaheer, Gupte, Prasad / Chandra

    3rd xi Apte, Mustaq Ali, Azharuddin, Umrigar, Ganguly, Borde, Dhoni, Pathan, Binny, Ghavri, Bedi

  • avinash11may on September 8, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    An all time XI can be chosen only by consistent performance over a long period of time. Otherwise, Vinod Kambli, with an average of 54 in tests, will have an edge over Dravid, Vishwanath, Azharuddin or VVS and Hirwani would apper a better spinner than Harbhajan and Bedi. Hence Nissar and Amar Singh might be very good, but not worthy of a place in the all time XI. Further, first class average can not be a criteria, otherwise Graeme Hicke would have entered into English Team or Ajay Sharma has better average than anyone else in India. India's strength has been batting and spinners, hence we should go with six batsmen, one specialist keeper, two spinners and two fast bowlers. My team is 1. Gavaskar, 2. Sehwag, 3. Dravid, 4. Tendulkar, 5. Azharuddin, 6. VVS or Vishwanath, Kapil, Kirmani or Tamhane, Kumble, Srinath and Prasanna. For tours abroad, Kumble can be replaced with Zaheer.

  • Navillus on September 8, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Mankad,Kapil, Kirmani, Amar Singh, Kumble, Prasanna

    Second XI to provide practice : Merchant, Gambhir, Vengsarkar, Vishwanath, Hazare, Umrigar, Engineer, Srinath, Harbhajan, Nissar, Gupte

    Third XI Mustaq Ali, M. Apte, M. Amarnath, M. Azharuddin, S. Ganguly, Dhoni, Phadkar, Bedi, Zaheer, Venkat, Chandrashekhar

  • Navillus on September 8, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    @buntyj: We have had mediocre seamers trying to get the wickets of the tail enders often. Madan Lal, Chetan Sharma, Roger Binny and even worse bowlers like David Johnson, Mhambrey etc. Results are there to see, unless you count the one off success stories in England. I think the idea of having a run of the mill so called seamer instead of a good to great spinner is absurd. And India has often tried three spinners succesfully. Even Chauhan, Kumble and Raju did work for a while. The four spinners even played together. Umrigar - he was the mainstay of batting for India for a decade ... and if there were great cricket writers in WI, his century and five wicket haul would be as famed as Mankad's similar feat in England. I would place him above Mohinder Amarnath and below Dravid, Laxman, Vengsarkar and Viswanath in my list of middle order batsmen.

  • on September 8, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    I would pick Kumble and Prasanna.

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    @middlestump- how often did the 3rd spinner (offie) come into the picture from 72-78 save at chepauk and at auckland 76? how many overs did they bowl, wickets they take etc? a good though not great seamer wouldve given the variety to the attack that may ve delivered yet more wins; batting wouldve been stronger had pataudi played more in early 70s and mohinder amarnath (and a mankad in middle too not as makeshift opener, and also a more useful offie than umrigar or sehwag) played from 72-73; but overall i agree substantially with the strategy; but feel it couldve been refined with better selections

  • MiddleStump on September 8, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    @buntyj: Gattani or Salgoankar instead of a world class spinner! Are you serious? I saw arguably Salgoankar's best performance when he bowled West zone to a Duleep win over South Zone. And yet he may not be in the top 10 seamers list today. Resistance by tail enders happens even today and is part of the game. That is not reason enough to drop one or more bowlers. You don't sacrifice your main bowlers who got you to that position by removing 6 or 7 early wickets. How many times have India won 3 test series in a row even in the era of Kapil, Srinath, Zaheer, Kumble, Bhaji with a much stronger batting lineup to boot? The quartet did one heck of a job in their era and finally gave India at least a decent chance of winning any test. All this not even considering that players in that era were amateurs with regular jobs and had little or no support in terms of specialist coaches or video analysis.

  • on September 8, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    this is the best indian teams home and away....home=1.GAVASKAR 2.SEHWAG 3.DRAVID 4.TENDULKAR 5.LAXMAN 6.DEV 7.DHONI 8.KUMBLE .9.H SINGH 10.SRINATH 11.KHAN...(AND THE AWAY TEAM....)1.GAVASKAR 2.SEHWAG 3.DRAVID 4.TENDULKAR 5.R.SHASTRI 6.DEV 7.DHONI 8.KUMBLE 9.A.SINGH .10.SRINATH .11.KHAN

  • vmanbalaji on September 8, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    No doubt in my mind. Bedi & Prasanna. My All-time XI is 1. SMGavaskar 2. VSehwag 3. MAKPataudi 4. SRTendulkar 5. GRViswanath 6.VMankad 7. NKapil Dev 8. SMHKirmani 9. MohdNissar 10. ERSPrasanna 11. BSBedi 12th Man MohdAzharuddin The team is the best challenger to all time Rest of World XI

    1. Len Hutton 2. Arthur Morris 3. Rohan Kanhai 4. Don Bradman 5. Viv Richards 6. Gary Sobers 7. Allan Knott 8. Richard Hadlee 9. Malcolm Marshall 10. Michel Holding 11. Derek Underwood / Muthiah Muralidharan (? because BSBedi has questioned legality of his bowling) 12th Man Jonty Rhodes

    Any comments / feedback?

  • buntyj on September 8, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    @middlestump= i agree that was the strategy at the time and yielded some results though i wouldve preferred 1 seamer (gattani 60s, salgaonkar 70s) to 3rd spinner as there were a number of occasions when the lower order frustrated the spinners due to absence of a good seamer and winnable positions slipped away; @nampally- neither umrigar (retreating towards squareleg when facing trueman 52) nor sehwag nor even borde would do the trick as 5th bowler vs AT XIs of other countries; we need 5 recognised bowlers in the AT XI and for the person who observed that neil harvey got after gupte- true, but virtually all indian bowlers have been been far less effective vs left handers than right handers to date- we won't be able to select a single bowler based on record vs lefties; its been a traditional failing. at least in gupte's case we can still remember the single occasion when it happened.

  • cricfanraj on September 8, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    My Final 11. Sehwag,Gavaskar,Dravid,Sachin,Vishwanath,Kapil,Dhoni,Sreenath,Zaheer,Kumble and Prasanna Hard to left VVS ,Subhash Gupte, chandra and Bedi

  • SuperStar_XI on September 8, 2010, 2:43 GMT

    India All-time XI

    S.Gavaskar V.Shewag R.Dravid S.Tendulkar V.V.S.Laxman V.Mankad M.S.Dhoni(wk) K.Dev(C) A.Kumble J.Srinath S.Gupte

  • Bagash on September 8, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    India dont need any more batting strength. They do need 5 specialist bowlers to bowl a team out. So often they knock off the top order to find the lower order batsmen difficult to dislodge. The fielding also needs to be taken into consideration. So far from the talent I have seen my suggestion would be: 1. Gavaskar, 2. Sehwag, 3. Dravid, 4. Sachin, 5. Vishwanath, 6. Dhoni (Capt), 7. Kapil Dev, 8. Kumble, 9. Zaheer, 10. Srinath, 11. Chandrasekhar. I think this team would give the opposition nightmares!

  • on September 7, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    I would pick Subash Gupte and Bedi as my spinners. I know some people will argue against having Bedi when Mankad in all probability will be in the team to have two left armers. But I think there is no substitute for greatness. In my opinion Bedi was the greatest spinner this country ever produced.

  • RajaNila on September 7, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    The 5000+ runs and 250+ wickets criteria may be a little too harsh for some former greats like Amar Singh or Vijay Hazare.

    My team would be 1. Gavaskar 2. Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. Sachin 5. Vishy 6. Mankad (all-rounder) 7. Kapil 8. Dhoni/ Kirmani 9. Kumble 10. Md. Nissar/ Amar Singh 11. Bedi

    Taking Mankad as a an all-ronder over Kapil Dev to allow for a extra spinner. A 3-pacers team would see both Amar Singh and Nissar in, and Bedi out.

  • on September 7, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    gavaskar, sehwag, dravid, sachin, azhar, dhoni, vinoo mankad, kapil dev, kumble, srinath, zaheer

  • bks123 on September 7, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    As I mentioned already, my criteria is either 5000 runs or 250 wickets to be in an all time india XI...So only four needs to be considered..anil kumble, harbhajan singh, Bedi and Bhagwath Chandrasekhar..and I would go for Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and Kumble.

  • deepaksam on September 7, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    1. Gavaskar 2. Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. Vishwanath 5. Sachin 6. Azhar 7. Vinoo Mankad 8. Kapil Dev 9. Kirmani 10.Nissar 11.Chandrashekar/Prasanna

  • MiddleStump on September 7, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    @Buntyj: It was the strategy employed during that era. It worked well. Remember there were just 2 batsmen of class. You cannot attack all the time from both ends. There were 3 class spinners in the XI, and one had to adapt and be defensive since there was no pace attack of any value. Attacking with close in fielders throughout the innings would mean less in run saving positions. Runs leaked this way would be a strain on the weak batting line up. Strategies are designed with the talent on hand, nothing more. Having watched the quartet in hundreds of test and first class matches, they were head and shoulders above all others except Gupte and possibly Mankad whom I did not get to see. And they planned together. Like Prasanna, I feel Kumble would not have found a place in that team. Goel was good and unlucky. More so was VV Kumar. Nadkarni was less adaptable to attack than Venkat when needed. One could pick Chandra over Warne. IMO, Kumble, Doshi, and Bhaji are not even in consideration.

  • ajaykurhekar on September 7, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    My All time XI - Openers- no issues with these names 1. Gavaskar 2. Sehwag

    Middle Order. The funs begins for the selector. but still two positions are simple 3. Rahul Dravid 4. Sachin Tendulkar Lots of options for no. 5 -Azhar, VVS, Ganguly, Vengsarkar, Vishy, Hazare. Real diff spot to pick.I will go with Vishwanath for his finnese for playing spin and pace. 5.Vishy All rounder - Only two candidates - Vinoo Mankad And Kapil Dev. I will go ahead with Vinoo becase then team would have 3 spinner (which is its strenght) and two pacers which will include Kapil 6. Vinoo Mankad Wicket Keeper- No competition to Dhoni for his batting and decent keeping ability 7. Dhoni Fast (?) bowlers Kapil is the obvious choice and Zaheer would be excellent company as a left armer 8. Kapil Dev 9. Zaheer Spinners Real comp -Kumble, gupte, chandra and bedi for one turning ball away from RH and Prassana, Bhajji and Venkat for turning in Debatable but my choice is 10. Prassana 11.Chandra

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    @navillus- at the start of this process dravid, vishy, pras were very much in my team n srinath in serious contention in 2 pace 3 spin attack; its been rigorous going through records and quality of opposition that led me to re consider my position; i stand by choosing amarnath ahead of dravid at no 3; lala amarnath was many years older than hazare in oz 47-48 and unlucky not to play tests in eng 36, he was india's leading player on tour till he was sent home on flimsy grounds @adilbaig are you aware of mankad's batting average at no 6 where you propose to select him? its 11.20. mankad scored most of his runs as opener particularly at no 1; but he's not a contender for that slot. he did float n bat at many other positions but without success. his average from each of 3-6 being below 20 and at 7-8 below 28; so his overall avg is ok but he certainly didnt carry it to the middle order; his away bowling record avg, wkts/test, was poor n sr nearly 120;

  • Beertjie on September 7, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    This was one of the hardest, made so by the constraints of the format of not being able to select Kapil as all-rounder and ONE other fast bowler. Had the format somehow permitted this, one might have been able to pick THREE out and out match-winning SPINNERS (for me Pras, Chandra, Gupte). But since I anticipated that the formulaic constraints would not permit this, I went for Mankad as the all-rounder, thereby bringing in a fine holding type spinner. With Kapil and Zaheer as opening bowlers, you would need someone able to use a relatively newish ball. Mankad but who else? I've gone for Kumble ahead of Gupte for this reason. But why have 2 leggies? Well Oz has TWO, so why not India? Chandra trumps Pras on the unplayable aspect!

  • Nampally on September 7, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Strangely the commenters are picking the 11 instead of the 2 spinners who were All Time Greats. I don't understand why Amarnath & Azharuddin are brought into discussion - neither being spinners. It will be nice to see the discussion centering on merits of choice of the spinners in the 11. For example, Umrigar 's inclusion will mean he can be an off spinners along with Sehwag. In that case do we need another specialist off spinner? Similarly Mankad chosen as a specialist left arm spinner is also an outstanding bat like Sehwag or Umrigar. My Choice of 2 spinners here are Gupte Specialist Leg spinner - Umrigar & Sehwag off spinners, Mankad left arm spin.Those who have seen or played against Gupte rate him #1 in the World not just India. Umrigar played in the Indian tests as a batsman and was kept off bowling to keep him fresh. When he bowled he was v. effective & got wickets. It is wrong to go just by averages & total wickets one gets rather than his bowling skills. Pl. Discuss spinners.

  • AdilBaig on September 7, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    comment no. 2-as openers sunny and viru are in everyones team.For middle order we need technically correct and highly dependable batsmen.sachin, Rahul and VVS are best known for these qualities.having followed cricket since 89,i have not seen many yesteryears legends but going by statistics and records vishwanath,vengsarkar and amarnath are left out becoz their avg. is less than that of azhar(my eternal fav. alongwith sachin) and ganguly and I sincerely believe azhar and ganguly dont deserve to in all time india xi for tests (not india 11 atleast).and they were less consistent than even laxman.that only left vijay hazare,now laxman edges out him for no.5 beacause of experience and one imp. thing laxman avg. is ever increasing and more than 52 as middle order batsman.for no.6 we have a great filler mankad.having read by jury and fellow fans about mankad as truly world class i m opting for mankad to provide solidity to middle order.4 out of top 6 avg.above 50 outside asia.OUTSTANDING

  • AdilBaig on September 7, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Having read comments made by fellow cricket lovers here , i m highly enlightened by the fact that apart from pacers we got legends in every deptt. But I m highly amused by the fact ignored by most fans here what were exact reasons for our revival.Fearless opener,solid and highly consistent middle order batsmen ,aggressive captaincy ,three prolonged pace attack and a champion spinner (one of the most competent player of our time) and finally a keeper who could score runs since saurav took over(though never been a big fan of saurav).Why people consider dhoni as bad keeper I dnt know. I think he is at present best keeper in asia.seen him taking good diving catches (almost all the chances of pacers).Firstly I will choose my 11 then will discuss the merits and demerits.1- Gavaskar 2- ehwag 3-Dravid 4-Sachin 5-Laxman 6-Mankad 7-Dhoni 8-Kapil 9-Amar singh 10- umble 11-Nissar.If amar singh and nissar not to be selected (due to less played matches) then srinath and zaheer comes in.

  • ns_krishnan on September 7, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    I would go with Kumble and Subash Gupte. Kumble for his unparalleled home record as well as fighting attitude. As for Subash Gupte his away record is fantastic and also he is said to be better than even Warne. I think these two would complement each other home and away. I don't believe that you should have one off spinner and one leg spinner/left arm spinner ( though it is ideal). Prasanna and Chandra were very close to making it. But sorry to them and also Bedi.

  • Bamarolls on September 7, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Quite a few people are going with the "feast to the eyes" theme in their selections. I know, even my "chana" tasted like a feast when India won. Never had a feast taste so good when India won the WC III, defending a meager target. Therefore, my pick for the XI: Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Umrigar, Mankad. Kapil Dev, Kirmani, Kumble, Khan, and Prasanna. On an average day they will score 387 and bowl out opponenets for 310 (5 lead bowlers taking 2 wickets each at their average.) On their best days, they will be 0/555 and probably declare at 2/1073. Kapil will take 9 wickets in the first innings, Zak getting the other one. Kumbe will take the ten wickets in the second innings.

  • Retour on September 7, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    IMP: The selection process is a bit weird as an Indian AT11 w/o Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev, the two great all-rounders, is not complete. By having Vinoo and Kapil, we have one spinner and 1 seamer, along with quality batting at #6 and #7. Thus the combination should be 5 batsmen + Vinoo + Kapil + WK + 2 seamers + 1 spinner ........... My AT11: Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, X(undecided), Mankad, Kapil, WK (undecided), Amar Singh (also a bit of an all-rounder), Nissar and one of the great spinners, probably amongst Gupte, Parsanna and Chandra. Bedi loses out as Mankad is the left-arm spinner. And there is little point in playing two LFS, esp when we are blessed with quite a few 'great. spinners!

  • KAIRAVA on September 7, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    I would stick with KUMBLE and CHANDRASEKHAR for the spinners in the All time Indian XI. Eventhough both were legspinners, they had very different actions and approaches. Kumble relied on Accuracy & Bounce while Chandrasekhar Spun it more and was very attacking for a spinner. Stats reveal that Chandrasekhar was the only spinner of his generation who troubled all the legendary WI batsmen (Roy Fredericks, Greenidge, Haynes, Viv Richards, Clive Llyod, Kallicharan) more than any other. If you were to pickup a WORLD XI against the mighty West Indies squad of 1974-1988 from the same period, Chandrasekhar takes up the lone spinner spot. BASED PURELY ON INDIVIDUAL AVERAGES against West Indies from 1974-1988, the best of the World XI squad would be something like: 1. Sunil Gavaskar 2. Geoffrey Boycott 3. Greg Chappell 4. Gundappa Viswanth 5. Wasim Raja 6. Imran Khan 7. Kapil Dev 8. Rodney Marsh 9. Richard Hadlee 10. Dennis Lillee 11. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar 12th man. Allan Border.

  • Navillus on September 7, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    @Buntyj and all those who put Jimmy ahead of Jammy... the reasons you put forward is Amarnath was a great player of pace bowling. Now, he averages 38 against West Indies, has never made more than 138 and that too against a weak Australia in Sydney , and did not have to play Lillee or the SA attack in his life, and made 1 century in a won match - 133 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur, where Vengsarkar made 153. He had nothing like Dravid's centuries in wins, or 270 and 233 against two excellent attacks, five double hundreds ... etc. Besides, if one points to his average of 54 in WI, that is based on one good series. Whereas Dravid has averaged 48 in Australia, the best side of his times. He avgs 41 against Australia overall, better than Jimmy's 38 against WI. Much better against the rest of them. Nothing against Jimmy ... he was a great competitor, but just a good batsman. I would put Vengsarkar, Umrigar, Hazare, Visvanath, Azhar above him as overall batsmen. Jammy, however is great.

  • NALINWIJ on September 7, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    KUMBLE is the biggest matchwinner and CHANRASEKHAR was the freakish unplayable bowler are my choices. India's bowling strength is spin so why don't we pick two allrounders in MANKAD AND KAPIL and only pick one other paceman in ZAHEER KHAN that gives 5 bowlers and HAZARE picked as a batsman could bowl first change as he was more than a capable medium pacer who took 595 first class wickets. My ATXI is 1-4 obviously GAVASKAR.SHEWAG.DRAVID.TENDULKAR 5-8 gives depth to batting and the attack=5.HAZARE,6.MANKAD,7.KAPIL,8.KIRMANI AND 9.KUMBLE 10.ZAHEER 11.CHANDRASEKHAR

  • Navillus on September 7, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    @Bamarolls ... how many times have kapil and zaheer polished line ups? Post 83, Kapil has actually very rarely had good days with the ball. And Zaheer ... he averages in the 30s. To think they will polish off Hobbs, Hutton, Hammond ... or Bradman, Chappel, Border is pushing it a bit too far. @buntyj - you insist with Mohinder Amarnath ahead of Dravid ... well take a look 141 243 11460 270 53.30 29 58 against 69 113 10 4378 138 42.50 11 24

    In won matches 49 80 13 4445 270 66.34 12 21 against 12 19 1 771 131 42.83 1 5 And forget comparing 194 catches against 47 Longevity, consistency, centuries, runs, average, number of wins, average in wins, highest score ... Dravid is at least twice to four times better. I rest my case.

  • Bamarolls on September 7, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    For me Kumble and Prasanna, with obvious pology to Gupte, Bedi, Chandra and Bhajji. All match winners, but I did need some variety in my ATXI team. with Vinoo being my all rounder, It would be a good threat to any ROTW-XI. There is a chance that none of these 3 would get to bowl, with Zak and Kapil polishing off the line-up before spinners are introduced.

  • 2.14istherunrate on September 7, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    I would have liked to have picked 3 spinners for an Indian XI, and leave the seam duties to Kapil and Zaheer. After all even when you have put Kumble and Bedi into the team there are so many great bowlers left out and on home pitches spin is more use than seam.

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    it is only by comparing the home n away (and specific position) records of the Indian AT XI vs the others that we would know how our proposed AT XI would stand vis a vis each country's AT XI in imaginary tests I would submit that my proposed AT XI of Merchant, Gavaskar, Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kapil, Amar Singh, Kirmani, Bedi (c) or Gupte (in which case Gavaskar as captain), Nissar and Chandrasekhar will stand up better than most against the AT XI of other countries Even better if Engineer were selected in place of Kirmani and to bat at no 6, Kapil going to 7 and Amar Singh to 8

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    it is only by comparing the home n away (and specific position) records of the Indian AT XI vs the others that we would know how our proposed AT XI would stand vis a vis each country's AT XI in imaginary tests I would submit that my proposed AT XI of Merchant, Gavaskar, Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kapil, Amar Singh, Kirmani, Bedi (c) or Gupte (in which case Gavaskar as captain), Nissar and Chandrasekhar will stand up better than most against the AT XI of other countries Even better if Engineer were selected in place of Kirmani and to bat at no 6, Kapil going to 7 and Amar Singh to 8

  • Navillus on September 7, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    @Buntyj Lala Amarnath was admittedly over 30 when he face Lindwall and Miler, but so was Hazare ... And during an era when Merchant averaged 70 in first class cricket, his average was a not too impressive 41. My point is, a lot of legends are formed because of hype of the unseen and unknown. Lala's reputation was made by his hundred in Gymkhana. He did very little of note in test cricket after that. Mohinder Amarnath was a good player abroad who had a wonderful 82-83. But we did not see his performance in WI. On the other hand I did see him bat in 1983 and 1987 against WI at home. And they were very ordinary performances, where he did not look anywhere close to being comfortable against fast bowling. It is not about Amarnaths. A lot of people have poor records but are touted as greats because of legends surrounding them. Venkataraghavan, MAK Pataudi (I know he had one eye, but we don't know what might have been). Jaisimha etc.

  • on September 7, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Why is Dhoni even considered? He is a very ordinary keeper. Naren Tamhane was good, but Kirmani was probably the best stumper to play for India. He would get my vote for the keeper's place. My team would ream Vijay Merchant, Sunil Gavaskar. Polly Umrigar, Sachin Tendulkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Kapil Dev, Syed Kirmani, Erapalli Prasanna, Subhash Gupte and Mohammad Nissar.

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on September 7, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    Mankad will be the all-rounder and Kapil will be selected as a pure bowler.The same thing happened in the NZ and Pak selection, where Hadlee and Imran were listed in both categories.

  • Navillus on September 7, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    @buntyj: About Amarnath and Dravid. The difference in averages is over 10 ... the longevity is twice and the highest score is double. A maximum of 138 is not good enough. Mohinder Amarnath did have a purple patch in 1982-83 when he scored 5 of his centuries in 2 series against Pak and WI, but that is about it ... to be great you have to have a prolonged peak like Sunny, Sachin and Dravid and to some extent Sehwag and Laxman. If a short peak is the judge, Vengsarkar of 86 is the best after Sachin. Besides, check Dravid's average in won matches. Sourav Ganguly's success as captain owes totally to his exploits with the bat. About Gavaskar in 71 and 79, yes he too made his runs against weak attacks at that time and was conscious abt it. Never missd an opportunity. i remember him scoring a hundred on the 5th day after the third innings had started just after lunch. totally value less. But, he did prove his mettle against great attacks as well, except Lillee. eg. 1976, 82 WI and 1979 Eng

  • on September 7, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    the two real debates are the wicket keeper and the spinner slots. wicket keeper , the battle is between dhoni and kirmani. but i dont see dhoni as a very good keeper to fast bowlers . he has also made some mistakes while keeping to spinners, though he is good with his stumpings. hence as keeping is the key here kirmani for the keeper. spinner kumble is an easy pick in my opinion. the other pick to me is from the quatret. i felt that chandrashekar was the best in the qautret and hence kumble and chandra the spinners. regarding off spinners please dont forget sehwag.

    final squad. gavaskar, sehwag, dravid, tendulkar, vishwanath, kapil , kirmani, kumble, zaheer, srinath, chandrashekar.

  • on September 7, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    My Eleven would be ; Gavaskar,Sehwag,Dravid,Tendulkar,Vishwanath,Kapil,Dhoni,Kumble,Srinath,Zaheer and ChandraShekhar.. Laxman,Bhajji..nearly missed out....

  • 270380 on September 7, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Jim Laker liked to see Ray Lindwall and B.S. Bedi bowl from the two ends. But for me the sight of seeing EAS Prasanna and BS Bedi bowling together was also great. Prasanna easily the greatest off spinner with a short run up tempted and deceived the great batsmen of his time and Bedi's action was music in motion. He too fooled many batsmen with his flight and variation. It was a sight to watch them bowling together with Wadekar, Solkar and Abid Ali lurking close to the batsman.

  • on September 7, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev are choices in two different catergories?! What happens if they make it in each class? haha.

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    similarly, what happens if we take 1 country's at xi batting record vs another country at xi and find that theres a difference when compared with the bowling record of that country's at xi vs the first country? or would we then take the mean between the 2 for the imaginary totals? would there be variations per innings of match 1-4? and would we assume no extras? or find out total extras conceded by each team vs others and divide by respective tests played? this is important so that we can discipline ourselves to select the best teams and try to avoid the traps of most commonly favouring the new, familiar, what we've seen over what we haven't or less commonly of romantising the past, or even more common of assuming the generation we identify with is the best these questions highlight the complexity of the task and emphasise the need to ask how well the player we have in mind for a role would adjust to different circumstances

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    while admittedly theres much thats ambiguous or unresolved- would the team be playing under 3,4, or 5 day tesyts, home or neutral umpires; 15% degree chucking rule?, contemporary, matting , covered, uncovered pitches, moveable sightscreens? new or old no ball, lbw rules? with or without helmets, restrictions on bouncers per over? traditional, sg or kookaburra balls? modern support systems? or each imaginary series consisting of tests to be played under different conditions prevalent in test history? similarly i can understand giving benefit of doubt to a player and assuming career stats (with variation for home, away) and assumption of floating if a batsman hasn't played at the AT XI position selected for, or bowled vs or in a country; but where the batsman has been tried at a position (for which he's selected in AT XI) or a bowler bowled vs or in a country than surely the specific record should prevail over the career record? surely no benefit of doubt assumptions when records exist

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    @middlestump- i see the value of that approach but wouldn't kumble or nadkarni be even more effective in such a role than venkat? also, thats a strategy for a weak team, an AT XI should have 5 attacking bowlers don't you think? also the strategy came into play in 71 but venkat had from 66 already shifted to a defensive mindset?

    at others- for best balance especially away 3 seamers n 2 spin are best; also 3rd spinner was often either redundant or defensive

  • chaithan on September 7, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Seeing that Kapil is almost definitely the all-rounder, why have 2 specialist pacers? The team can have 1 pacer and 3 spinners. An AT India XI with 3 pacers and just 2 spinners sounds crazy.

  • buntyj on September 7, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    @senaiki- an apparent bias vs amarnathss? its true that lala failed in oz at his mid 30s age vs lindwall/miller fastest he'd faced in 10 years (after nissar); but at that age he adjusted well to faster oz wickets n scored a mountain of runs in the other games vs sharp/brisk bowlers n quality spinners; at least some ozzies came to the tests in the hope hed score some runs in the tests too mohinder vs dravid- i agree its a close call and i originally leaned in favour of dravid; but whereas mohinder was inconsistent, poor home record he succeeded vs the best of his era -pak.windies 82-83; if you heard/watched commentary, read reports you will recall that while gavaskar survived, mohinder counter attacked (will you drop gavaskars scores vs oxz 77-78, 85, and windies 71 due to weak teams; actually oz 77-78 had express thommo); dravid has been consistent away save consistent failures in sl (best spin attack of his time) and rsa (best pacers in his time n fastest pitches); or in oz in 99-00?

  • bks123 on September 7, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    look at these numbers.. Mat 17 Inns 21 NO 1 Runs 1084 HS 227 Ave 54.20 100 4 50 3. If these numbers were from a player of 1950's or 1920's we would rate him as great or even compare him with the likes of sachin or gavaskar and blah blah and would even ask the question "Can we imagine what would have been his avg. had he played 100 tests?" And this is bullshit...The player is vinod kambli and we know he cannot make it to the all time XI. So my opinion is don't pick anyone who have not scored atleast 5000 runs or have not taken 250 wickets. And just don't give the excuse of less number of matches or bowling to great batsmen or facing grt fast bowlers etc etc. The game has changed a lot. Earlier we had grt fast bowlers and no helmets. But today we have grt technology to know every small weakness of a batsman or a bowler. Then also dravid and sachin survives and Mcgrath gets the best opposition batstmen out. So the bottom line is whoever is good will be good in any generation.

  • jimbond on September 7, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Mankad anyway comes into the team as an allrounder- along with Kapil, which also (unfortunately) takes out Bedi from the reckoning. To give variety, one can go with an offie and a leggie. Among offies, Prasanna was definitely better than the others in the list. Among leggies, its a much closer fight, but based on past accounts, I would choose Gupte over Chandra and Kumble (very close though). So, my eleven would be - Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Umrigar, Mankad, Dhoni, Kapil, Prasanna, Gupte, Amar Singh. Twelveth man would be Azharuddin (because of his fielding). Having two pacers is representative of an Indian team. Umrigar and Sehwag provide support bowling options. Dhoni at 7 and Kapil at 8- indicates a very strong batting order.

  • cooldewd on September 7, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Bedi would be the first picked for me. That guy is still lauded as a genius thirty three years after he last played in Australia. Nobody could "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" like Bishen Bedi could. Chandra would be second choice just slightly ahead of Anil Kumble. Chandra was unpredictably brilliant and a geniune match winner.

  • Maui3 on September 7, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Kumble is a no brainer, especially proving himself on foreign soil in the 2nd half of his career and simply taking way too many wickets compared to the rest. Vinoo Manked is a no brainer too, given India will need 5 bowlers (including Kapil and Mankad) to make up for overall lousy bowling. I followed the spin quartlet very closely in my childhood. Venkat was a very ordinary bowler. The other 3 were decent in an otherwise poor team. Only Chandra had capacity for Magical spell on his day, but could be very expensive. Bedi was very average against good team outside of India. Prassana was successful mainly against Aus/NZ but has a very high bowling average. Their bowling average was very poor, considering they practically contributed nothing with the bat. Harbhajan or Gupte would be my higher pick over the 'famous' spin quartlet.

  • ssenthil on September 7, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Shame on the People Still Selecting MS Dhoni as W/K who are blind in Nature, they can't see a one dropped Catch/Innings or Match. I would say the people Selecting him for his batting are started to Watch the Cricket after T20 version came and They are not really deserve to comment about All Time Test Team Selection.

  • New_Wind on September 7, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    @MiddleStump, thanks a lot for nice elaboration. It makes lot of sense. I checked the stats of FC level and both look comparable. I have read Idols too and Gavaskar has said Goel was also very economical. May be there could have been an experiment to send Chandra and Prasanna on attack with Goel as third spinner to tie down one end. Ofcourse this is speculation and very remote since I was small kid in that era. But somehow always feel those days monopolies were more rampant in all the fields compared to today.

  • ak1983 on September 7, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    1.Gavaskar , 2.Sehwag , 3. Dravid , 4.Tendulkar, 5.Vishwanath, 6.Kapil Dev , 7.M.S.Dhoni , 8.V.Mankad , 9.Zaheer Khan, 10.A.Kumble , 11.J.Srinath

  • razahood on September 7, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    i do't think that any Indian spinner can compete with Warne and Murli but still they were/are ok if you talk about the best Indian Spinner then it certainly is Kumble

  • cantwaittosee on September 7, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    1. Gavaskar 2. Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. Tendulkar 5. Hazare 6. Amarnath 7. Dhoni 8. Kapil 9. Kumble 10. Bedi 11. Chandra I would prefer Vishwanah over Amarnath for batting but Amarnath would have to take the new ball. I am sure jury will choose two fast bowlers in second one being Srinath but for me, to have Srinath over Bedi or Chandra is foolish.

    Jury's final 11 will probably look like Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Hazare/Vishwanath, Mankad, Kapil, Kirmani, Kumble, Srinath, Prasanna/Bedi.

  • on September 7, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    Tough ask. But the idea option would be an off spinner - leg spinner combination. With Venkataraghavan, Prasanna (like always) contending for a spot, I do not see a place for Bhajji. As for the leggies are concerned, I would include all the left arm orthodox in the list along side Chandru n Kumble. As always, Prasanna with his flight and in I.Chappel's words - attaching a string to the ball and pulling it back just when the batsman comes forward - would win over Venkat. Although Chandru would be amazing with his ability, I would pick Kumble for a. being his fan b. 619, 10/74 and what not

  • on September 7, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    This is my Favoured Test Team: 1.Gavaskar , 2.Sehwag , 3. Dravid , 4.Tendulkar, 5.Vishwanath, 6.Kapil Dev , 7.M.S.Dhoni , 8.V.Mankad , 9.Amar Singh, 10.A.Kumble , 11.J.Srinath

  • tusharsb on September 7, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Kumble is great to have on India dustbowls ...but not overseas ..sorry!! Best ever spinner is Gupte. Second spinner could be Prasanna/Bedi/Chandra ... would select Prasanna being offie!! (Kapil and Mankad as allrounders or fast bowler/spinner) Attack looks like - Kapil, Srinath, Gupte, Mankad, Pras (or Zak, Nissar)!!

  • MiddleStump on September 7, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    @ New_Wind: Politics aside, probe the numbers deeper you will see that Venkat has one of the best economy rates among spinners. He was part of the Vijay Merchant-Hemu Adhikari strategy to employ the 3rd spinner to tie down one end so that one of the two other spinners could go all out in an attack role at the other end. The third spinner also had to bowl to well set batsmen who had tackled the first two spinners. Gavaskar also alludes to this aspect of Venkat's role change in his book 'Idols'. Somehow Prasanna had more difficulty initially to adapt to this role. And when he made the adjustment his numbers also reflect the change. Prasanna took 20 tests for his first 100 wickets, but needed another 27 for the next 89. Not too different from Venkat's 100 wickets in 33 tests. They were both outstanding strike bowlers in that role on opposing teams in Ranji games. Bedi has stated that he learnt a lot from them and was selected ahead of them more for the sake of variety- being left handed.

  • sbc1989 on September 7, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    1.Sunil Gavaskar 2.Virender Sehwag 3.Rahul Dravid 4.Sachin Tendulkar 5.V.V.S Laxman 6.Sourav Ganguly (Captain) 7.M.S Dhoni (W) 8.Kapil Dev (Vice Captain) 9.Harbhajan Singh 10.Zaheer Khan 11.Anil Kumble

    12th Man Mohammad Azharuddin all played more than 50 tests all got batting averages over 40 all got bowling averages under 30 apart from zaheer

  • mk49_van on September 6, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    Has the jury lost its marbles? An all time India team with 3 pacers and 2 spinners - since Kapil is the all-rounder and the top pacemen.

    Take 3 spinners I say - BS Bedi, EAS Prasanna, A. Kumble, in addition to K. Dev and whoever else (Amar Singh? Zaheer? Not Srinath please.....)

    The other way to work this is to bring in Mankad as the all rounder, and K. Dev as a pacemen. In which case the two specialist spinners would be A. Kumble and EAS Prasanna. And the great Bedi will miss out.

  • New_Wind on September 6, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    One question to all those who witnessed those magic days of quartret. If Goel and Shivalkar couldn't get a single test due to Bedi then how come Venkat got so many tests despite Prasanna. Venkat's record is very average of 156 wickets in 57 tests. Can anyone throw some light? or was it some stinky politics?

  • Bryan999 on September 6, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    With respect to choices of all others/ all contenders; my final-list from my votes for all time INDIA XI is: SEHWAG & GAVASKAR to open... DRAVID, SACHIN, LAXMAN in the middle order... DHONI to keep/Bat... KAPIL as allrounder VINOO & AMAR to bowl/bat... KUMBLE & NISSAR to bowl... I am now waiting ro see how close I am from the final-list from INDIA JURY as well as from the choice of each jury member...

  • Nampally on September 6, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Suresh, the spinners list in your article is incomplete. There were 2 great off spinners Jasu Patel & Ghulam Ahmad + Surti, Durrani & Nadkarni not even mentioned. We are trying to pick an "All Time" India 11 and some truly iconic old timers are excluded. Ghulam captained India and was a great off spinnerr while Patel took all 10 wickets in an innings in Kanpur test against MCC. I wish the Jury had included at least one person born in each decade starting mid 30's to 70's - i.e. at least 5 jurors. The rest could be anybody else.We have young commenters who never heard, let alone seen, greats like Gupte, Mankad, Merchant, Hazare, Umrigar,Engineer, Kundaram,Nissar, Amar singh. Almost all these guys may be excluded despite their greatness & legendary status in the era they played their cricket for India. These "greats" need serious consideration in addition to Sehwag, Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS, Kapil Dev, kirmani,Kumble, Srinath to make it non-partisan & true "All Time" India 11.

  • VenkatMani36 on September 6, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    This is my Test Team: 1.Gavaskar,2.Shewag,3. Dravid/Umrigar,4.Tendulkar,5.Vishwanath,6.Mankad,7.Dhoni,8.Kapildev,9. Srinath,10.Prasanna,11.Gupte.I have included many players here based on the fact that they had to play without helmets and had to face some of the greatest bowlers like : Griffith, Gilchrist,Trueman, bedser,Hall,Ramadhin,Valentine, Lindwall, Miller, Davidson etc and bowl to Bradman ( Mankad),Weekes.Worrell,Walcott,Cowdery,Mayetc.

  • Bryan999 on September 6, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    NO OFFENCES to other's choices/bowlers but my choice is clear; first is the romance of the past,'VINOO' and second is the effectiveness of the present, 'KUMBLE'... So, the Slow left-arm orthodox and the right-arm legbreak googly form the "Sirens of India" for me... As mentioned earlier, India's strength is BATTING and NOT-BOWLING (Other countries bowling ave. ~ 20's or <20 whereas India's ave.>28 or ~30's)...I wanted to have 2 allrounders in the team to make the batting strength strong.. and somehow, I have it: Kapil and Vinoo. The bowling average of both the bowlers are not bad too if you compare the other Indian bowlers.. Infact India never produced world-class-bowlers(in terms of ave.) in comparison to batsman... All the bowlers are nearly of equal caliber and none makes "BIG" impression/difference over the other...

  • MiddleStump on September 6, 2010, 20:19 GMT

    Gupte is the one spinner rated highly by the famed quartet themselves. Warne's record is pretty ordinary against India, so Sobers is not saying much. Prasanna has stated that Kumble would have struggled to find a place in the team during the 70's. A great leggie like VV Kumar played only two tests during that period. Further the famed quartet had one element that was never tested with Kumble or Harbhajan and that was adaptability to the situation. Chandra would attack, Bedi would attack but could bowl defensively at times. Venkat was a miser because his role was to bowl to well set batsmen and keep them tied down. One could see that he bowled quite differently the next day in a first class match when his role was to attack. Prasanna started as an attack bowler taking 100 wickets in 20 tests,then switched roles like Venkat settling for 89 wickets in his next 27. Kumble and Bhaji are good bowlers no doubt, but their role in tests were always one dimensional - attack as the lead spinner.

  • on September 6, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    Tough as it seems, the task is quite simple. Pick the best. Subhash Gupte and Erapalli Prasanna. The rest are best 'rested'.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on September 6, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    Vinoo Mankad gets in as an all rounder - he was India's greatest all rounder before Kapil Dev as well as one of the greatest opening batsmen AND spinners from India. So he gets SHOEHORNED in - no question!

    S. Venkat - 'avin a laugh intcha??!! And no mention of the incomparable Salim Durrani? Who makes these selections? jokers every one of them...............forget Kumble - it has to be Kumble's DADDY as a medium paced leggie who could bowl bouncers "faster than Thommo man" (quote from Viv Richards) Bhagwat Srinivas Chandrasekar 'nuff said. EAS 12th man (Harbhajan's daddy he didn't need to bowl - sorry throw - the doosra flight dip drift turn he had the lot ask Ian Chappell who made 3 hundreds against him in 1969)....

  • on September 6, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    Virender Sehwag Sunil Gavaskar Rahul Dravid Sachin Tendulkar Gundappa Vishwanath Mahendra Dhoni Kapil Dev Zaheer Khan Anil Kumble Javagal Srinath Bhagwat Chandrashekar

  • Shripathi on September 6, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Seriously, the team composition was botched up big time by pigeon-holing specific playing slots rather than picking the best team -- the one with balance, and suitability to task.

    Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Kirmani, Kumble, Srinath and Zaheer Khan is the best team India has produced thus far.

    The team has two spinners in Mankad and Kumble, three pacers in Kapil Dev, Srinath and Khan, and yet is well balanced in terms of batting.

    Then you have Hazare and Sehwag as part-timers if you really need them.

    Sorry, but Hazare alone amongst the old-timers has the stats and a fair bit of match play to make it. Merchant, Nissar, Amar Singh etc did not play that many tests, and did not have superlative stats to overcome that negative.

    The ridiculous nature of pigeon-holing should be obvious when you could not include Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev for the arbitrary allrounder spot, and have to include Mankad here, where he is not in the top two

  • Rajesh. on September 6, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    @ nrravid ---- I agree with you !!

  • Rajesh. on September 6, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    1) Sunil Gavaskar 2) Virender Sehwag 3) Rahul Dravid 4) Sachin Tendulkar 5) G.R.Viswanath 6) VVS Laxman 7) Kapil Dev 8) Syed Kirmani 9) Anil Kumble 10) Javagal Srinath 11) Erapalli Prasanna

  • SridharSampath on September 6, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    My vote goes to Kumble and Prasanna. Wouldn't mind seeing Gupte make it intead of Kumble. After all,Sobers and Benaud should know what they are talking about.

  • Rajesh. on September 6, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    First choice - Anil Kumble, hands down........ and the other spinners's slot should go to Erapalli Prasanna... I feel he was perhaps the best of the quartet. Would have loved to have Chandra as well if there were 3 slots......

  • Deadly_Dude on September 6, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    The bowlers selected should be able to bat a bit too, we can not have a line - up like old days when tail / bunnies would start at #8 ... Keeping this in mind, I would go for Kumble and Venkatraghavan ...

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on September 6, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Why not attempt an all time ODI XI? Contenders :- Openers : TENDULKAR, GANGULY, SHEWAG, SRIKANTH, GAVASKAR, SIDHU. Middle order : DRAVID, AZARRUDHIN, JADEJA, YUVRAJ, SIDHU, GANGULY (both if not openers). Allrounder : KAPIL DEV, SASTHRI, PRABHAKAR, I.PATHAN. Fast bowlers : KAPIL DEV, SRINATH, AGARKAR, ZAHEER KHAN, PRASSAD. Spinner : KUMBLE, HARBHAJAN, VENKATRAGHAVAN, SASTHRI, RAJU. Wicket Keeper : KIRMANI, MORE, MONGIA, DHONI... My choice : Tendulkar, Shewag, Dravid, Azaruddhin, Ganguly, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Kumble. 12th man : Srinath. If abroad match then Srinath will replace Harbhajan. My fifth bowler ll be shared by Shewag, Yuvraj and Ganguly. Now if this affects balance then get Kapil at 7 in allrounder slot, Dhoni at 6, bring in Srinath and Zaheer as pacers... Comments please...

  • intcamd on September 6, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Gavaskar ,Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Mankad, Dhoni(C), Kapil, Zaheer, Kumble, Chandra

  • on September 6, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    vote ur favourite spinner ..

  • Deadly_Dude on September 6, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Vishwanath, Kapil Dev, Engineer, Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Srinath, Venkatraghavan

  • cantexplain on September 6, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    I realize my previous post wasn't complementary to Kumble .... my intention was not to put him down just to make Gupte look better. However, I do believe we need to be honest when it comes evaluating Kumble's career, relative to the other spin greats India has produced.

  • on September 6, 2010, 18:01 GMT

    vote ur favourite spinner ..

  • cantexplain on September 6, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Subhash Gupte has to be in the team, IMHO. The reason I pick him above Kumble and Chandra is Gupte bowled against some very good batsmen including the 3 Ws, Sobers, Kanhai, May, Barrington, Dexter, Cowdrey, and Hanif Mohammed. He had a fine record in both WI and Pakistan and his record in Englad was much superior to Kumble's and comparable to Chadra's. In fact Gupte's away record was better than his home record, largely because during his time the defensive mentality induced India to produce pitches that were batsmen's paradise. As good as Kumble was, his away record is not test class. His away record started improving in the early to mid 2000s, once India's vaunted batting line-up started clicking and piling on big totals away from home. Kumble needed the assurance of the 400+ scores to be able to toil away and take his 5 wicket hauls in Australia and elsewhere. In contrast Gupte played at a time when India had a relatively weak team, so the onus was on him to lead the fight.

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on September 6, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    My final All Time XI : Shewag (Delhi), Gavaskar (Mumbai), Dravid (Karnataka), Tendulkar (Mumbai), Vishvanath (Karnataka), V.Mankad (West India/Nawanagar/Maharashtra/Gujarat/Mumbai/Rajasthan), Dhoni(Bihar/Jharkand), Kapil Dev(Haryana), Srinath(Karnataka), Kumble (Karnatka), Prassana (Karnataka)... Now with 3 spots namely Vishy, Pras and Mankad all are certainities. Mumbai has always been best but look how many from B'lore here. Should we call it Mumbai-Karnataka XI?

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on September 6, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    @ Simbudy : U did extra work of selecting ODI & T20 teams. Fine but are u nuts? Ur ODI team with Master not opening with Shewag but in middle order? No Dravid in ODI team that has Azar! Big Comedy dude. And if Kapil Dev, Ganguly can be in T20 why not Sachin? This is alltime best XI not ur or my choice. Better know cricket!

  • Biophysicist on September 6, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    One should look at the strike rate and no. of wkts per match to judge how effective each bowler is. Although statistics alone does not tell how great a bowler or batsman is, I would say if you get a batsman who scores at an average of 50+ for 100+ tests, irrespective of what anyone might say, I will have that player in my team. If you look at the corresponding parameter for a bowler, it is the no. of wkts per test. The value for Kumble is ~4.7, which is far above all the others: Bhajji (4.2), Chandra (4.17), Gupte (4.14), Bedi (3.97), Prasanna (3.86), Venkat (2.73), Doshi (3.45), Mankad (3.68). Therefore, Kumble is my first choice spinner, irrespective of the comments of people that he doesn't have variety. My second spinner is Mankad, who despite being an allrounder, has a pretty good bowling record. I have Kapil as allrounder and Amar Singh and Srinath as bowlers.

  • arvin on September 6, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    india all time xi more or less picks itself with no contest for few players... openers... gavaskar/sehwag ... nothing else to consider here... 3/4 ... dravid / sachin ... no contest here... 5 ... here is a choice... vishwanath or amarnath or azhar or umrigar ( no laxman coz he is bad fielder and mostly selfish, no ganguly coz he is lazy, bad fieldfer and sometime also selfish and almost always afraid of short rising ball)... 6 ... since choice is limited among allrounders and kapil is a automatic choice it has to be mankad or prbhakar ( unfortunately shastri only player apart from kapil to score 3000+ runs and 100+ wickets in both formats of game is not on the list otherwise will be a good choice)... 7 ... who else but kapil... wk ... kirmani / engineer... dhoni may be popular but his skills as wk are at best fair... bowlers... kumble... no contest here... ... srinath if no prbhakar along with chandra and prassna for srinath if prabhakar selected...

  • on September 6, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    1.) Gavaskar 2.) Sehwag 3.) Dravid 4.) Tendulkar 5.) Ganguly 6.) Kapil 7.) Mankad 8.) Dhoni 9.) Kumble 10) Sreenath 11) Prasanna

  • mani86 on September 6, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Could people please remember that the name of the Indian fast bowler from the 1990s is Javagal SRINATH and not "Sreenath"? This is really irritating. You are confusing him with S. Sreesanth of the 2000s, and if you don't know even this much you really have no business selecting an Indian AT XI. Srinath, Srinath, SRINATH!!!!!!!

  • Simbudy on September 6, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    The All-Time 11 will be extremely difficult to make unless we have inputs from the olden days of 1940s, 50s and 60s. But for me theTop 15 for an Indian Test Squad:

    1. Sehwag, 2. Gawaskar, 3. Dravid, 4. Sachin, 5. Azaruddin, 6. Kapil*, 7. Dhoni, 8. Zaheer, 9. Prasnna, 10. Bedi, 11. Chandrashkar 12th. Laxman, 13. Bhajji, 14. Vinu Mankad, 15. Kumble *Skipper.

    All Time ODI Squad: 1. Sehwag, 2. Ghambhir, 3. Ganguly, 4. Azaruddin, 5. Sachin, 6. Dhoni, 7. Kapil*, 8. Bhajji, 9. Yuvraj , 10. Zaheer, 11. Javagal S 12. Salim Durani, 13. Raina, 14. Farokh Engineer, 15. Kumble

    20/20 The format I dont like much:

    1. Sehwag, 2. Ghambhir, 3. Yuvi, 4. Raina, 5. Dhoni, 6. Kapil*, 7. Ganguly, 8. Bhajji, 9. Durani, 10. Zaheer K, 11. Irfan P 12th. Azaruddin, 13. F. Engineer, 14. Kumble, 15. Bedi.

    Maybe I forgot few good quality players. Someone wants to remind/correct me?

  • mani86 on September 6, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    My first choice WOULD HAVE been BAPU NADKARNI. Has anyone seen his incredible record? And an excellent batsman too. If he was around today the likes of Ravindra Jadeja would not be allowed to even play for a Ranji team let alone India. Anyway, since Suresh has for some strange reason not included BAPU NADKARNI i am selecting Kumble and Prasanna.

  • HarishVS on September 6, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    I have not seen any of Gupte, Pras, Chandra, Bedi, Venkat bowl but I have heard about them from a no. of seniors who used to follow cricket by news or radio commentary. And there are many articles describing the deeds of these greats. Finally there are detailed records at cricinfo of these. So any cricket fan would be good enough to appreciate these greats based on the facts. Seeing live is not the only tool to rate the greats for a true follower of cricket. Having seen what Kumble has done to Indian cricket at home or away, he will be an automatic selection. Harbajan is still not fit to get into All Time Greats. With Kumble, he did perform brilliantly and may be sometimes alone also but very rarely. In btw he has struggled a lot to be even an ordinary spinner. His best is yet to come. May be he is worthy of a nomination among these greats. So I would leave it to cricinfo to choose among Chandra, Gupte, Kumble, Prasanna and Bedi.

  • on September 6, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    kumble would be a sure shot selection given the sheer volume of wickets he has taken especially in wins...the second spinners slot should go to an off spinner for variety and I would go for Prasanna...ideally there should be space for a third spinner in the all time XI of the team from the land of spin...chandra would be my choice...my ideal all time XI...1)Gavaskar 2)Sehwag 3) Dravid 4) Tendulkar 5) Vishwanath 6) Kapil Dev 7) Kirmani 8) Kumble 9)Prasanna 10) Srinath 11) Chandra...Reserves 12) Laxman 13) Zaheer Khan 14) Bedi 15) Dhoni 16) Ganguly

  • Street_Hawk on September 6, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    again I am seeing people are adding Viswanath instead of Dravid/Laxman and Kirmani instead of Dhoni....I know those players are legends but records speaks for itself. How many matchwinning innings they have played home and abroad compared to Dravid and Laxman? and Dhoni has always given that assurance in the late order so that we don't expose our lower order immediately after Laxman or Tendulkar is out. Lately, he is not in form but apart from that he has been excellent. He is cool as cucumber and plays shot whenever he can..

    THINK ALOUD BEFORE YOU CAST YOUR VOTES.!!!! just don't show how much you know about Indian cricket history.

  • on September 6, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    I would still like to go with the old timer Indian spinners, and pick Bedi and Prasanna/Chandrashekhar for the team.

  • tusharsb on September 6, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    @kvijai .. You cannot ignore former greats because you never saw them. One has to rely on the former players opinion. Its like saying I dont want Bradman in my time because I have never seen him play. Gupte is regarded as the best ever by people who saw him, played with or against. Indian fielding was poor in his time. It was joked around that even fielders were not sure which way the ball was turning. Same is not true for Kumble. He is a good bowler and deadly on typical Indian dustbowls on 4/5th day. His away record is poor. We already have the weakest pace bowling attack of all teams (Though our pace pack leader Kapil is a grt allrounder, he averages less than 4 wickets per match ) - it important to select our best spinners.

  • Diwakar on September 6, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    It is travesty that there is no mention of VV Kumar, Maninder and LS. Three of the most talented spinners in the game but each fell by the wayside for different reasons.

    VV Kumar was never given a fair chance by the selectors. His aversion to batting against the fast ball was held against him! And that in the days when the batsmen themselves never were comfortable against true pace.

    Maninder was a wonderful bowler (IMHO better than Doshi any day) and an exceptional fielder. There was talk about how Bedi advised him to change his action to not bend his back as much as he was doing lest it should cause irreparable damage and end his career prematurely. Mani did that, lost his loop and his place very quickly thereafter.

    Siva (LS) was a magician. I distinctly recall the way he got Miandad stumped by Sadanand of a peach of a delivery. He beat him in the air and off the pitch. Stunning talent but he did not have the mental makeup to sustain his initial promise.

  • mehtarc on September 6, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Its not the best players all times wins the games ...its the combination in any team sport ..e g. if you play Magic , the Bird, Shaq, Kobe , Lebron play against the 90s Bulls team its more than likely that 90s bulls team will championship where as there are other greats who you put them in any situation they come out victorious. Based on that I say all time best India XI is 1) Gavaskar 2) Sehwag 3) Dravid 4) Tendulkar 5) Vishwanath 6) Ganguly 7) Dhoni 8) Kapil 9) Kumble 10) Harbhajan 11) Sreenath

  • knowledge_eater on September 6, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    My all time Test XI : Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Kapil, Dhoni, Bhajji, Sreenath, Zak, Kumble

    My all time one-day would include Ganguli instead Lax.

  • gd645 on September 6, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    For 2 best spinners in All time XI for India, I would go for: 1. Subhash Gupte - righty and best leg spinner, and 2. Vinoo Mankad - lefty and superb all rounder with an exceptional leadership quality as a bonus!

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    @snsingh chandra has a match 12 for at sydney, innings 5 fors in windies nz as well as eng; he succeeded in each country he played save pak 78 at end of his career in 60s he bowled great legspin, in 70s flippers n googlies

  • kvijai on September 6, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    my all time india 11(based on what i'v seen ) - 1. sehwag 2.gavaskar 3. dravid 4. tendulkar 5. laxman 6. kapil dev 7. dhoni (captain) 8. srinath 9.zaheer 10. kumble 11. any of the spinners of the prev geneartion ( those who go gaga over gupte's , mankads - how many matches of them have u seen fully ? dont just put up names just to show that u know cricket.. and those who go for kirmani ahead of dhoni, how many match winning innings has ur kirmani played btw and how many of them have u seen ?

  • Roger_Allott on September 6, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    Kumble and Gupte for me, but the choice is flippin' difficult! The reason I went for those two was that I'd have Sehwag and Tendulkar adding some useful variation as needed. Kumble scores highly for his leadership and outstanding gentlemanly behaviour. Gupte was much much better than his test average (29.55) suggests.

  • senaiki on September 6, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    I cannot understand the number of people rooting for Mohinder Amarnath, sometimes at the expense of Dravid. Most of Jimmy's reputation was made in one tour of WI in 1982, which we did not see because it was not telecast in India in those days. He made runs in Australia too, but against weaker sides of 77 and 85. And the ones who believe him to be an excellent player of pace bowling, check out his record closely. In 1983, in India, he scored 1 in 6 innings against WI ... with 5 ducks and one 1. In 1978, he turned his back to be struck on the head in Pakistan and in the same match trod on the wicket. A lot of reputations swell because of the tales told of unseen exploits. It was the same with Lala Amarnath - fables arose that in Australia people went to the ground to watch Amarnath and not Bradman. Come on. He averaged 24 in tests. And Dravid can walk into any Indian eleven. Period.

  • thenkabail on September 6, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    I made one mistake in my selection. I would replace Vinoo Mankad with Srinath. 1. Sunil Gavaskar, 2. Vijay Merchant, 3. Virendra Shewag, 4. Sachin Tedulkar, 5. Rahul Dravid, 6. Vinoo Mankad 7. Kail Dev Nikanj, 8. Farook Engineer, 9. Ervapalli Prasanna, 10. Bishen Singh Bedi, and 11. Bagawath Chandrashekhar. 12. Gundappa Viswanath, 13. Eknath Solkar, 14. Subhash Gupte, 15. Anil Kumble, and 16. Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Reserve: Javgal Srinath.

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on September 6, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    @those complaining about india picking only 2 seamers and more than 1 spinner, its all about supply and demand :) we never had enough seamers to play the other AT XIs. hell, our seam attack doesnt frighten even me :(

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    ps- pras chandra formed a succesful spin duo for mysore but had few opportunities in away tests hence if selecting 2 best indian spinners, especially away- gupte n chandra; but i preferred to select the best spin duo as a pair- bedi chandra.

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    that leaves bedi, chandra, gupte n prasanna as the top 4 spinners; but we've to select 2; we can either choose the 2 best -gupte n chandra or those who hunted best as pairs- bedi pras or bedi chandra; of these while bedi pras dominated 67-70, these were against really 2 teams really at home n away, bedi chandra vs more teams both home n away n over longer period 71-78; bedi's 2 strengths really were his vastly superior record as captain than as player n the fact that he formed part of india's 2 most successful spin twins away (kumble bhajji have best home stats together); in other pairings ahmed/mankad, mankad/gupte away mankad didnt perform well, durrani/pras, durrani nadkarni away didnt really work, though pras/nadkarni paired well in nz 68, venkat bedi in windies 71; other spinners preferred to be the bride at the wedding when away n couldnt play bridesmaid as well as bedi did successfully away -to 2 different bowlers;

  • landl47 on September 6, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    The best I have seen were Bedi and Kumble, but I didn't see Mankad and Gupte. I played against Prasanna in England in 1975 and hit a boundary against him. Anyone I could hit a boundary off can't make an All-time XI!

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    mankads best bowling years were 45-52; his away sr is nearly 120; his batting average other than as opener is below 20 from 3-6, below 30 at 2, 7-9; unless he is played as an opener at no 1 i can't pick him as an allrounder, nor select him as a bowler with his away rate; if players didn't bat at certain position their caree home or away average can be assumed but not when they did play at certain positions-then those averages at those positions must surely prevail; similarly avg n sr in countries where the player bowled must prevail over career away avg /sr which would prevail for countries a player didnt tour bhajji venkat doshi are not really serious contenders; kumble is tempting (like bedi for captaincy too n bottle) but the fact is that though he improved away with time he always looked a workhorse away rather than the strike bowler he looked at home; an argument can be made for him as a defensive bowler (but nadkarni had a better record in that role);

  • on September 6, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    My all time XI : Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Kapil, Dhoni, Sreenth, Zaheer, Kumble, Bedi

  • on September 6, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    my all time eleven is gavaskar, sehwag, vishwanath, tendulkar, laxman, kapil dev, kirmani, venkataraghavan, srinath, zaheer, chandrasekar. 12th man would be vinoo mankad. sorry for the other players. but stupid selection by cricinfo, mankad and kapil were nominated in both allrounders and bowlers list... i would've not had zaheer in my team. since i picked kapil as all rounder i had to pick zaheer. otherwise mankad would be in playing eleven and bedi would be 12th man. the other greatest mistake was omitting farokh engineer in wicketkeeper nominees... he would've been in my team as well replacing kirmani... lets see what sort of team they come up with... surely would be interesting..........

  • ad-infinitum on September 6, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    wow......this is at par or even tougher than the West Indian pace bowling selection

  • raddayathegreat on September 6, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Bedi should not even be thought of in this list due to his comments about Murali! It shows he knows nothing about spin bowling! Anyway, Jumbo is a blind choice and I think Chandra for the other. It's hard picking only 2 man.

  • Nampally on September 6, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Because a wealth of spin bowlers of world class calibre produced by India, it is a very difficult decision to pick 2 truly great spinners covering the "All Time" period. Mankad automatically takes one spot because of his all round abilities. It is tough to pick just spin bowlers amongst the rest. In my opinion Gupte was the greatest leg spinner India or world had ever produced. He took only 149 test wickets at the same average as Kumble, but with 4 wkts/test - higherr number than Kumble. Gupte got most of his wickets on hard Indian & west indian surfaces against greats such as Sobers, Kanhai, 3 W's, Hunte, to name a few.Gupte could make the ball talk with his prodigious turn and well disguised googly with an easy 4 pace run up. He was immaculately accurate with an impecable flight variations like Mankad. He was better than Warne & Benaud the other great leg spinners even though he took far fewer wickets than Warne.I place Gupte not only in Indian AT 11 but in the world AT 11.

  • rson on September 6, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    The format for selecting the Indian XI makes the composition of the team different from the others.Kapil Dev and Mankad are listed both as all-rounders and as bowlers in specific categories.That was not the case with several countries strong in all-rounders. For what it's worth my India XI would include Gavaskar,Sehwag,Dravid.Tendulkar,Hazare,Mankad,Engineer(Iknow-not an option for some incomprehensible reason),Kapil Dev,AmarSingh,Kumble and Chandrasekhar.

  • S.N.Singh on September 6, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    For an all time leg spinner I will go for Gupte. He played against great batsman and gave them a lot of problems. Bedi was good, I do not know why he quit the game that early, I think he could have gone on more. Chandrasekhar is great but his bowling mostly suitable for, in England and India, South Africa. For Off Spinner, I will go for Harbhajan Singh. He is a match winner. Prasanna and Venkatataravaghan are very good the also played against great batsmen. Harbhagan has a lot more to go against present day batsmen. India was and is depending on spin to win games, I still think India should follow that trend in presen day cricket and play three spinners in five day cricket. In ODI it different. In 20 /20 that is lashing the ball thsi should not count against any bowlers. S.N.Singh USA

  • Percy_Fender on September 6, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    I will have Kumble and Prasanna in the XI with Vinoo Mankad as the left arm spinner. That should be a great combination. I will not select Gupte despite his greatness because he lost the plot when Neil Harvey went after him in 1956. He was never the same even if he took a lot of wickets against the West Indies at hiome. Harbhajan does not come into the reckoning because he seems pretty ordinary when compared with Prasanna. Bedi and Doshi were very good no doubt, but I think Vinoo Mankad was truly the best.Chandra was the magician but I would sttle for the great Anil Kumble.There were others like Shivalkar and Goel who were good but we never got to see them at the international level and so they have to be denied.

  • knowledge_eater on September 6, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Anil Kumble and Harbhjan Singh, because those are the one I saw taking wickets, me growing up. 501 wickets in 54 tests, now thats really big numbers.

  • deepaksam on September 6, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Rating of sheer spinning talent: Leggies: 1. Subash Gupte 2. Chandrasekhar 3. Kumble

    Offies: 1. Pras 2. Venkat 3. Harbhajan

    Lefties: 1. Doshi 2. Bedi 3. Mankad

  • deepaksam on September 6, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    1.Sehwag 2.Gavaskar 3.Dravid 4.Sachin 5.Vishwanath 6. Mohinder 7. Kapil 8.Vinoo Mankad 8.Kirmani 9.Venkatraghavan 10.Nissar 11. Chandrasekhar

  • thenkabail on September 6, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    Don't be biased by present team: Most people have selected team based on their current knowledge. How can you not select Vijay Merchant (classy batsman) or Ekanth Solkar (once in a lifetime fielder\all rounder). Here is my all time XI: 1. Sunil Gavaskar, 2. Vijay Merchant, 3. Virendra Shewag, 4. Sachin Tedulkar, 5. Rahul Dravid, 6. Kail Dev Nikanj, 7. Farook Engineer, 8. Javagal Srinath, 9. Ervapalli Prasanna, 10. Bishen Singh Bedi, and 11. Bagawath Chandrashekhar. 12. Gundappa Viswanath, 13. Eknath Solkar, 14. Subhash Gupte, 15. Anil Kumble, and 16. Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I had a heartbreak making Viswanath the 12th man. But, there are situations where Kapil and 3 spinners will do and Viswantha and Dravid can both play. There are other situations when one of the batsman is out of form Vishy can come in. Similarly, there are situations where Srinath can make way for Solkar (his fielding and batting far better than Srinath).

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    wish we had single spinner of the class of bedi, chandra, gupte, pras or even kumble on the horizon

  • thenkabail on September 6, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    Chandra is the greatest: Chandra is the greatest bowler India ever produced - spinner or fast bowler. He just played in an era where his opportunities were limited. But to watch him bowl at his best was a feast for eyes. I would rate Bedi and Prasanna close second and third. Then Gupte and kumble. I think the all time great Indian team: 1. Gavaskar, 2. Merchant, 3. Shewag, 4. Sachin, 5. Dravid, 6. Engineer, 7. Kapil, 8. Srinath, 9. Prasanna, 10. Bedi, and 11. chandra. 12. Viswanath, 13. Solkar, 14. Gupte, 15. Kumble, and 16. Dhoni. This team is the greatest one can think of. I pity not finding a place for Viswanath (most elegant of batsmen) in XI. But he and Dravid can alternate depending on form. Further, there are many situations where only Kapil and 3 spinners will do, so both he and Dravid can play in the XI.

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    MY AT XI from choices- Merchant, Gavaskar, Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kapil, Amar Singh, Kirmani, Bedi, Nissar, Chandra my preferred AT XI- Merchant, Gavaskar, Amarnath, Tendulkar, Laxman, Engineer, Kapil, Amar Singh, Bedi, Nissar, Chandra 12th man either case- Pataudi my captain either case- bedi close contenders- hazare at no 5 (while his staggering home average was inflated by weak touring sides, his away avg of 44 till 52 in eng (46 bedser, 52 trueman; australia- lindwall/miller was top notch), gupte (a better bowler than even bedi), pras (top quality bowler n bedi's equal in value to team); i expect the AT XI selected by the panel will be different

  • senaiki on September 6, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    I looked around and found this in depth analysis of all time Indian XIs here:

    http://point-to-cover.blogspot.com/2006/11/india-all-time-xi-s.html

    For some reason, this guy wants Dravid as captain, but consider this was written in 2006, and then Dravid had just done something never done by any other captain of India - won series in England, WI and won test in SA.

    I think the XIs there are excellent.

  • mani86 on September 6, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    My first choice WOULD HAVE been BAPU NADKARNI. Has anyone seen his incredible record? And an excellent batsman too. If he was around today the likes of Ravindra Jadeja would not be allowed to even play for a Ranji team let alone India. Anyway, since Suresh has for some strange reason not included BAPU NADKARNI i am selecting Kumble and Prasanna.

  • on September 6, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    maninder and siva are obvious exclusions to me...they surely deserve to be nominated in the top 9 spinners' category...agree, they might struggle to make it to the playing XI, but so will atleast 5 others in this list

  • addiemanav on September 6, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    wow!!does anyone hav any sort of archive videos of these bowlers..we hav had a rich variety of spinners..i think kumble would be a certainty given his style of bowling,coming at you ball after ball.plus his batting abilities and leadership skills make him the very first choice..obviously the selection basis is on the best period of a particular bowler,so when kumble was fitter and in form,he was more menacing then even a murali or a warne..vinoo mankad might miss out selection as a spinner bcoz he may hav already been selected as an all-rounder..i think selecting only 2 is hugely difficult task..point is u hav 2 leave atleast 5-6 greats out of the 11..bcoz i hav never seen subash gupte bowl,but read a lot of comments that other greats have said about him..i would chose subash gupte over others ,just because of the mystique that surrounds him!!

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    man for man gupte (rated by sobers as the best leggie ever) and maybe pras were even better bowlers than bedi; each would be a worthy inclusion; pras' record at home and in oceania is superb though he peaked really for about 3 seasons; gupte had a superb record home n away; he did well abroad in diverse conditions -1953 windies (good batting wickets, strong windies line up including 3 Ws. windies 53 had weak pace bowling like noughties but far stronger batting than noughties) pak 54-55 (hanif, pak umpires, matting wickets), eng 59 (often wet greentops, may, barrington, cowdrey, graveney etc); being a more traditional leggie he would complement chandra well; kumble has a superb home record but was more of a restrictive workhorse than penetrative away though he improved with time; i could easily opt for gupte n chandra; mankads away record is poor. but i opt for bedi/chandra as a proven pair of spinners and bedi's captaincy

  • on September 6, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    i think v should have 1. gavaskar 2.sehwag 3.sachin 4.dravid.5.laxman 6.dhoni 7.kapil dev 8.subhash gupte/kumble 9.srinath 10.amar singh 11.prasanna...

  • KAIRAVA on September 6, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    With all the sets of players complete, My best test XI, based purely on batting and bowling averages of the players, are : 1. Gavaskar, 2. Sehwag, 3. Dravid, 4. Tendulkar, 5. Laxman, 6. Kapil Dev, 7. Dhoni, 8. Kumble, 9. Srinath, 10. Mohd. Nissar 11. BS Chandrasekar.

  • on September 6, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    1.Shewag 2.Gavaskar 3.Dravid 4.Sachin 5.Vishwanath 6.Kapil 7.Dhoni 8.Kumble 9.Srinath 10.Harbhajan Singh 11.Zaheer Khan

  • narenvs on September 6, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    A tough choice indeed. I wanted 3 spinners and 2 pacemen, 2 of them all-rounders (Kapil & Mankad). I got around the constraints placed on our choices by picking Mankad as all-rounder and Kapil and Srinath as pacers, leaving me two spinners to choose. I believe the choice is really between Gupte, Prasanna, Chandra & Kumble. (Bedi is out because Mankad already offers left-arm orthodox spin, and had a shorter career and was a weaker bat than Kumble; and had less variety and pushed the batsmen less than Gupte, Prasanna & Chandra). Of the four, Prasanna is my first pick as he's the only off-spinner; and Gupte my second as he had the greatest variety and least support from the field as well as the other bowlers. But, it was a toss-up between Gupte, Kumble & Chandra. Kumble's better batting was a draw, but he had much less variety. Chandra's longer career could argue to pick him over Gupte, but that was because the authoritarian board wrongly shortened Gupte's career.

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    bedi, chandra n pras were a great trio who made a weak side look competitive abroad for many sessions of many tests but in the 70s pras was often underbowled as great bowlers hunt in pairs; bedi chandra 70s were perhaps the greatest spin twins in history ahead of ramadhin/valentine or laker/lock all from 50s or bedi pras late 60s; bedi chandra took 24 wickets in 3 tests in england 71, 60 at home 5 tests vs eng 72-73, 39 in windies 76 4 tests, 59 in australia 5 tests 77-78; chandra was india's no1 matchwinner todate; pras has a great home record and in oceania; bedi's strengths were that he formed an excellent pair first with pras then with chandra- perhaps the only time when india could rely on a pair of spinners to perform together; he was included in world xi's, many critics legends felt he was perhaps the best sla ever, he was included in all time top 100 cricketers; and as captain (4/6 series away; match 10 for at spin grave perth) he averaged under 25 apart from alot of bottle

  • on September 6, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    I have chosen my All time India XI Sehwag,Gavaskar,Dravid,Tendulkar,Viswanath,Dhoni,Kapil Dev,Prasanna,Zaheer Khan,Srinath,Subhash Gupte

  • buntyj on September 6, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    the choice suggested is incorrect, bedi, chandra, pras, gupte were highly effective abroad too more than recent spinners p baloo (maybe c ramaswamy?), and durrani (rated highly in windies) and ghulam (eng 52) deserved mentions at least and nadkarni for his maidens; elahi was the best pre 45 after baloo/jamshedji and then those who didnt get any or many tests but were quality spinners- kripal singh, vv kumar, the andhra offie in 60s, shivalkar, goel, vijayakumar, the sikh offie from hyderabad in 90s, anand shukla; and the might have been rakesh tandon; those who flattered to decieve- shivaramakrishnan and hirwani all certainly rated mentions i wouldn't have included venkat in the contenders; i may ve included durrani or ahmed instead or 8 were enough to choose from

  • Hutchinson on September 6, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Having awesome 7 Batsmen like these proposed ,we don't require that much batting depth.My Team will be

    Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Kapil ,Dhoni, Kumble, Srinath, Zaheer,Prasanna

    12th Man: Vinoo Mankad

    It has good Slip catchers(Dravid,Laxman & Gavaskar),2 Great All rounders(Dhoni & Kapil) & balanced attack of Swing ,Pace & Spin bowling

  • Manush on September 6, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    My Best Indian XI 1.Gavaskar2.Sehwag3.Dravid4.Sachin5.Viswanath6.Ganguly7.Dhoni/Kirmani-?8Kapil9.Prasanna10.Bedi11.Chandra

  • NISH67 on September 6, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Gavaskar , Sehwag , Dravid , Tendulkar , Hazare , Mankad , Kapil Dev , Kirimani , Kumble , Srinath , Zaheer Khan - 12th man - Azharuddin

  • VinodhTendulkar on September 6, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    As for as my cricketing knowledge is concern the best eleven is as follows :

    1. SUNNY GAVASKAR(LITTLE MASTER) 2. VIRU SEHWAG (ENTERTAINER) 3. RAHUL DRAVID (THE WALL) 4. SACHIN TENDULKAR (MASTER BLASTER) 5. VVS. LAXMAN (VERY VERY SPECIAL) 6. MS. DHONI (WK & MR. COOL) 7. KAPIL DEV (THE GREAT ALLROUNDER COUNTRY PRODUCED) 8. HARBHAJAN SINGH (TURBUNETAR - UN ORTHODOX BATSMAN) 9. ANIL KUMBLE (FIGHTER - VERY USEFUL BATSMAN IN TEST) 10. ZAHEER KHAN (ONE OF THE BETTER LEFT FAST BOWLER INDIA PRODUCED) 11. JAVAGAL SRINATH (ONE OF THE BETR RIGHTFAST BOWLER INDIA PRODUCED

    THIS SHOULD BE THE FINAL 11

    12. SOUVRAV GANGULY (RESERVE BATSMAN PRINCE OF KOLKATA BENGAL TIGER) 14. BISHEN SINGH BEDI (ALLWAYS COMMENTING MURALI AS SHOTPUT THROWER (RESERVE BOWLER)

  • brtboris on September 6, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    I think it is unfair that the Indian XI can have the ability to have two spinner while all the other sides had only one. Yet the West Indian XI was forcing into picking a spinner while it does not fit their best XI. If it is all about the best XI then yes let there be two spinners but other teams be able to go by their strengths also and pick their best combination.

  • on September 6, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Phrases like "has to be" and "end of discussion" in the comments section show how strong the feelings are, and how hard it is to pick an XI acceptable to a majority of the connoiseurs. I, like others, have my own XI (1. Gavaskar 2.Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. Tendulkar 5. Hazare 6. Mankad 7. Kapil 8. Dhoni 9. Kumble 10. Prasanna 11. Nissar 12th man: Solkar). But I will be waiting eagerly to see what the jury's choice is, something I have been waiting for since the cricinfo All Time XI saga began more than a year ago.

  • on September 6, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Phrases like "has to be" and "end of discussion" in the comments section show how strong the feelings are, and how hard it is to pick an XI acceptable to a majority of the connoiseurs. I, like others, have my own XI (1. Gavaskar 2.Sehwag 3. Dravid 4. Tendulkar 5. Hazare 6. Mankad 7. Kapil 8. Dhoni 9. Kumble 10. Prasanna 11. Nissar 12th man: Solkar). But I will be waiting eagerly to see what the jury's choice is, something I have been waiting for since the cricinfo All Time XI saga began more than a year ago.

  • on September 6, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    to me though the list is a great one, the choice is simple. kumble as he is statistically india's best. the other one would be on the famous spin quatret. i would go with bs chandrashekar.

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on September 6, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Well this is tougher than middle order where two giant legends walked in leavibg just a spot. Now with Mankad as allrounder I rule out Bedi with heavy heart. Gupte and Chandra both terrors but for being our greatest match winner ahead of even SRT, Kumble the fighter walks in. So for offie despite mu fav Bhaj and great Venky I ll go with Prassana.

  • CricketingStargazer on September 6, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    Although Chandrasekhar was Bishan Bedi's equal as a bowler, he was a real liability in the field and with a bat. With the Indian side of the 70s it really was "6 out, all out", a fact that Bishan Bedi recognised once by declaring with only 5 wickets down in a Test in the Caribbean to protect his bowlers, even though they had under 100 on the board. It would be hard to pick more than one of the quartet without lengthening the tail to an alarming extent.

  • on September 6, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    Anyone who omits Subhash Gupte is a person who know the game from TV. SUbhash Gupte was recognised as better bowler than Warne not only by Sobers but by Ritche Benaud as well. That makes him the best in the world.

  • CricketingStargazer on September 6, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    It's an interesting choice. The four greats were regarded as some of the best spinners in the history of the game. However, they played in an Indian side that was not spectacularly successful. In fact, it was a side that toured badly and was occasionally subject to severe muggings at home (as when England won the first 3 Tests with a mainly seam attack in 1977). In contrast, Anil Kumble played in a side that went from being also-rans to challengers to be the best in the world. Not too many people will forget him playing almost the whole game against the Windies with a broken jaw and just a bandage to protect him. One of my choices had to be Bishan Bedi as the archetypal spinner- a player who played county cricket with distinction for many years. My other pick was Kumble in recognition of the greater success of recent teams. Harbhajan has had his moments, but tends to be vastly overrated on the basis of a few very good matches. Venkat would push Bedi close for my vote.

  • nrravid on September 6, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    Can't agree with Mansvi_Lingam on comment against Venkat. May be you do not know the prowess of Venkat. He richly deserves to be nominated. Don't just go by statistics. By the way my choice of 2 bowlers will be Kumble and Prasanna in tests and should there be a third choice then Bedi will be the additional one.

  • Paki.Fan. on September 6, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Wow what a list, really hard to chose from, I think Kumble is a certainty, I haven't seen other bowlers so cant comment but by reputation it will be between, Bedi Chandra and Prasanna

  • sunny.amrat on September 6, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    bhajji and kumble!! if not kumble then definately harbhajan, a quality spinner who is great at baffling opponents, with an amzing temperament capable of making him an awesome batsmen at times

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on September 6, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Surely Nadkarni and Ghulam Ahmed deserved mention Suresh...no?

  • Antir on September 6, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    I really like Kumble and i wanted to pick him but Chandra has a better away record. The other would be Prasanna. India needs its spinners to be wicket takers. I am sorry but Bedi's strike rate of 80 just doesnt cut it. Harbijan is a good option as well but he is not as consistent as Prasanna. I never thought it would be this way but with Mankad as preferred all-rounder because Kapil is nominated as a faster bowler this will make the team much more balanced in bowling and very potent in its batting.

  • Cricinfans on September 6, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Tendulkar,Ganguly , MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, J Srinath,Prasanna.

  • sankm on September 6, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    1. Gavaskar, 2. Sehwag, 3. Dravid, 4. Sachin, 5. Vishwanath, 6. Dhoni, 7. Mankad, 8. Kapil, 9. Kumble, 10. Srinath, 11. Prasanna

  • Navillus on September 6, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    While I have said Kumble, Prasanna and Mankad is the best combination (leg spin, off spin, left arm spin), I would love to see Kumble and Gupte operating together in some matches, or Kumble and Chandra. Much like Warne McGill or Grimmett and O'Riley. It's a pity that with all these spinners, India has never produced a chinaman bowler.

  • Navillus on September 6, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Venkatarghavan was a highly over rated spinner. Whereas, I have no reservations about his excellent fielding close to the wicket, as a bowler, he was extremely average. He had to be elevated a lot to be brought into the spin quartet - just as later Ganguly had to be pulled up and stretched to limits to be mentioned as a part of the fab four (actually the fab four should be Dravid, Sachin, Laxman and Sehwag). And people who say Venkat was a useful batsman - he averaged 11 in tests, way lower than Kumble or Harbhajan or even Srinath. He did have a first class hundred, but then, almost everyone has one in India. In my opinion, he should have never edged out prasanna from the team - who would have otherwise ended up with more than 300 wickets. In fact, Doshi is a much better choice in the group. I would have loved to see Palwankar Baloo as well. Ghulam Ahmed is another notable omission. The final three has to be Kumble, Prasanna and Mankad. Mankad sits out in away matches.

  • pom_basher on September 6, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Absolute rubbish. 1. India rarely played with less than 3 spinners, 2. At least 3 of these spinners would walk into any XI. 3. India only ever recently played with 2 spinners, so if you are selecting 3 pacemen from current era, you cannot keep 3 spinners out of the squad, which sounds impossible..... SOOOOO, I vote for 3 spinners - DOSHI, GUPTE AND KUMBLE. They are class apart

  • samnemo on September 6, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    It is funny to see comments with phrases like "it has to be" or "end of discussion" creeping in profusion. Just shows how difficult it is to pick an all time XI agreeable to majority of connoisseurs. I, like many others here, have my own favourite XI (http://ayerebholakheyalkhola.blogspot.com/2009/07/my-all-time-indian-test-xi.html). But I will be waiting eagerly for cricinfo's pick, as I have been since the All TIme XI saga began more than a year back.

  • Navillus on September 6, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    I will finalise the team with the process triggred by the ridiculous wicketkleeping selections - a team with players ignored by this selection committee. Openers: Gautam Gambhir (best left handed batsman for India in tests - sorry dada fans, but it is true) , ML Apte (test av 48), Mustaq Ali Middle Order: Vijay Manjrekar, Vinod Kambli (test av 54 if he played as many testsa as Dada he may have ended up with more runs), R.S: Modi (test av 46), Chandu Borde (allrounder as well) All rounder: Ravi Shastri, Bapu Nadkarni , Salim Durrani Wicket Keepers: Farokh Engineer, Hindlekar, Kunderan Medium Pacers (we can't call the Indian pacers fast men): Ramkant Desai, Krasan Ghavri (both decent bats as well), Venkatesh Prasad ... Spinners : Palwankar Baloo, Ghulam Ahmed. Okay: Eleven now: Gambhir, Apte/Mustaq, Modi, Manjrekar/Kambli, Borde, Engineer, Shastri/Durrani/Nadkarni, Ghavri, Desai7Prasad, G. Ahmed, Palwankar Baloo 12th Man: Solkar. excellent balance with weak pace - standard Indian team

  • on September 6, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    no jasu patel???? interesting... how can u forgot the bowler who had taken 15 wicket in match and secure 1st win against australia...

  • anubhav.sarathy on September 6, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    its funny that 40 of the 41 comments till this moment have mentioned kumble and not one mentions harbhajan.. i would also go wid kumble and mankad....

  • Tirupatirao on September 6, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    My All Time XI for India would be: Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Tendulkar, V.V.S Laxman, MS Dhoni,Erapalli Prasanna, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, J Srinath.

  • KAIRAVA on September 6, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    If possible, I would prefer to go with two combinations of spinners ( 1 offspinner, 1 legspinner each) under type of conditions. If the selection is based purely on critical stats only, my two spinners for HOME matches would be ANIL KUMBLE & HARBHAJAN SINGH. They are the only two Indian spinners who average less than 28 runs per wkt and have a strike rate less than 62 balls per wkt. Kumble - Home Avg.: 24.88 & Home Stk. rate: 59.6. Harbhajan - Home Avg.:27.64 & Home Stk. rate: 61.6. BS CHANDRASEKHAR (Home Avg.:27.69; Home Stk. rate:64.6) comes a close 3rd. For AWAY matches, I would only play 1 spinner along with 2 fast bowlers. My lone spinner would be BS CHANDRASEKHAR (Away Avg.: 32.66 ; Away Stk. rate: 67.6) who is far better than a distant 2nd best Kumble (Away avg:35.89; Away stk rate.:74.5).

  • ashishkumar36 on September 6, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    My choices are Kumble and Mankad....I wanted to say to selectors...please please choose Amar Singh and Nissar. Otherwise this All time XI list would be so difficult to digest for me....I know final decision is in jury's hand.

  • ManuIndia on September 6, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    I completely agree with SSenthil on Vinoo Mankad & Anil Kumble, but I differ with his choice of Amarnath & Kirmani. In my all time XI it will be Vijay Hazare & MS Dhoni...my All Time XI for India would be: Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Tendulkar, Vijay Hazare, MS Dhoni, Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, J Srinath.

  • on September 6, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    The team has to be1. gavaskar 2. sehwag 3. rahul 4. sachin 5. laxman 6. kapil 7. mankad 8. kirmani 9. kumble 10. srinath the 11 no slot can be takan by any of zaheer/prasanna. bedi and doshi ignored because mankad is there. kumble rules out chandra and gupte and prasanna is better than harbahajan and venkat. while deciding 11 th member one has to see the pitch and opposition.

  • lion_king_prado on September 6, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    ANIL KUMBLE, ERAPALLI PRASANNA. End of discussion. Traditional and variety as well. No doubt if Prasanna was playing today he would definitely bowl the doosra as well

  • nataraajds on September 6, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    i am selecting Kumble, prasanna and vinoo mankad as 3 spinners , Kapil ,Srinath as fast bowlers and 5 batsman & one keeper for the all time india XI read as below:

    Gavaskar, Sehwag,Dravid,Sachin,Vishy,Dhoni, kapill, srinath,Vinoo mankad, kumble,prasanna. Harbajan,Ganguly and Zaheer in reserves

    this undoubtedly the best XI india has ever produced till now

  • sbbioman74 on September 6, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    crickinfo please post this.my team would be: sehwag, gavasker, dravid, sachin, mohinder amarnath, vinoo mankad, engineer(sorry cricinfo, this is the only one out of your list),kapil dev, kumble, srinath, chandra. bowling is very well balanced: two pacers, three different spinners,one medium pacer, plus part timers.

  • on September 6, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    I need to pick 3 - Venkat, Chandra, Kumble

  • sbbioman74 on September 6, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    my pick: kumble and chandra. because of their abilities to win matches both in home and away. especially chandra. he was a gem of a bowler in away matches: probably the best india ever produced. kumble took time to produce good results in away matches, he was more than handful even in swinging conditions in later part of his career. honourary mention to subhash gupte, bishen bedi and prasanna.

  • aavi242 on September 6, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    damn...hard to pick...all of them are awesome...though with Kumble being the obvious choice I find Mankand too tempting as he was a vry good batsman as well

  • howizzat on September 6, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    All time ELEVEN should be srom the whole lot and not by classification. 1.GAVASKAR 2.SEHWAG 3.DRAVID 4SACHIN 5.AZARUDDIN 6.MOHINDER AMARNATH 7.KIRMANI 8.KAPIL DEV 9.VINOO MANKAD 10.SRINATH 11.PRASANNA.

  • on September 6, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    Kumble and Bedi.. left arm spin is must and you cant keep Kumble out with sheer no. of wickets he has and that rules out BS because Kumble was better Bat. with Sehwag certain as opener, we dont need Harbhajan , though with all due respect for prasanna, I think with Bowling attack of Kapil, Kumble, Zaheer & Bedi, there wont be much left for Prasanna, more so, Bedi had a heart of lion .. what about the last wicket partnership in 83 final and declaring in Port of Spain in protest of WI bowling.. dare today's captain to do that..

  • Sach_is_Life on September 6, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Contd..and my 12th man will be either VVS or Prasanna..or may be both with Bedi to make it all time 14 ..lol

  • JK.5555 on September 6, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    All time xi of india

    gavskar,sehwag,dravid,sachin,laxman,farukh,kapil,zahir,srinath,kumble,gupte

  • Sach_is_Life on September 6, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    This is gonna be one of the toughest picks ..tougher than 4 middle order spots..But I'll pick Kumble and Mankad .. I know leaving both Bedi n Prasanna is not fair ..but Mankad for his allround abilities ..hav a slight edge over the others atleast 4 me..so my team will be ...1. Sehwag 2. Gavaskar 3. Dravid 4. Tendulkar 5. Gundappa 6. Dhoni 7. Kapil Dev 8. Mankad 9. Kumble 10. Zaheer 11. Nissar ..Team 4 all conditions...We've dashers in Veeru,Dhoni n Kapil and one of the greats 2 play this game and batsmen 4 almost all the conditions in Sunil,Rahul,Vishi n Sachin ..we've one of the best allrounder to play this game and one of the best spinner ever 2 play this game..and yeah..we've arguably one of the fastest bowler of his generation in Nissar and yeah..we bat deeeep..real deep ..with 9 players having test 100s ..Definitely..team 2 beat..!

  • on September 6, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    Orthodox left-armer Bapu Nadkarni deserved a mention. His accuracy made scoring impossible. Trying to hit him resulted in bat-pad catch or bowled. The only person who ever took him apart was Gary Sobers. Great close-in field and good late order batsman too.

  • amit1807kuwait on September 6, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    This is a real tough one. To select only two when the field has Kumble, Bedi, Pras, Chandra, Bhajji, Venkat et al is to do a disservice to ones who are not selected. Kumble will walk into the team, no question about that. My vote for the second spinner would be for Pras because he is an off-spinner to Kumble's leg-spin, and decidedly a better craftsman than Bhajji.

  • aruntheselector on September 6, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Kumble & Prasana.Play the best bowlers to win a test macth.I have been insisting on playing 3 spinners irrespective of conditions.We must note that India won series in England & WI in '72 playing 4 spinners.I feel Kapil & Sri are enough to take early wickets after which 3 spinners can come in to complete the job.However,the panel has other plans.Every one in the list had his share of good times and the team has benefited.All in the list have the potential to walkin to any team.Unfortunate that people like Shivalkar & Goyal could not play for India due to the quartret and Dilip Doshi had to make debut in his 30's.However,Kumble being the tallest giant of Indian cricket like Sachin and key factor in maximum victories walks in.Chandra had the match winning ability,but I would prefer a combination of leg,off & left arm spin for the right combination that is required to win a match.Mankad being my allrounder,I would go for the classical & orthodoxed Prasana to get the right combination.

  • vipin.chaudhary2325 on September 6, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    kumble, chandrashekhar & bedi......

  • ssenthil on September 6, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    My Pick are Vinno Mankad for his exceptional Batting and Bowling Average along with a variation he give as a left arm Spinner and Anil Kumble as leg Spinner and for part time you have Sehwag as off Spinner and now you will have all 3 Variety Spinners. My All Time team will be 1. S Gavskar, 2. V Sehwag, 3. R Dravid, 4. S Tendulkar, 5. M Amarnath (Exceptional Overseas Avg above 50 and one bad not Worst series in India reduced his overall Avg so much), 6. Kapil dev, 7. Vinno Mankad (He is Good batter then my Wicket keeper so swap in place), 8. Syed Kirmani, 9. J Srinath, 10. Z Khan, 11. Anil Kumble. I will have all 3 type Spinners and a Left Arm Fast bowlers and 2 good Swing Bowlers as well Kapil for out swing and Srinath for in-swing and both capable of swing the ball in both way.

  • tusharsb on September 6, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    No Kumble please. His away record is quite ordinary. He is a good bowler but also a dustbowl bully!! Also sad to see so many people ignorant of great spinners from the past!!

  • bhaskar_79 on September 6, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Phew!! its like choosing from the West Indian pace riches!!!!

  • cricfanraj on September 6, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    Fantastic Now this is called Talent pool. Am I not happy. Looks like Fastmen group from WI. All the guys featured are really good or should I say great. Now for elimination Easy - Bhajji/Venkat gone. they are good but not the best.Next is Mankad and Dileepdoshi.Hm They were really good but compare to the pool we can ignore. For god sake don't say Mankad is allrounder so we pick him (Like now we want Irfan pathan because he can bat)Next is Bedi. Its a tough one because he was an artist . Don't go by his mouth now a days and ignore look only as bowler. Final four. Kumble,Prasanna,Subhash Gupte and Chandra . I'm moving chandra also out as Kumble is similar but with better record(I know its harsh decision).Hmm what do I do now. Let me pick Kumble and Prasanna. Leaving gupte out. I'm just picking Offspinner and legspinner. If you think two leegies are also good then pick Kumble and Gupta. You are also right.The thing is the top 4 are so good that other AT11 teams can borrow from India :-)

  • Rake1 on September 6, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Kumble & Mankad for me.

  • on September 6, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    It's a simple equation to select the two best spinners here. It's Anil Kumble and Bhagwat Chandrashekar. Both were matchwinners, and when they wreaked havoc India invariably won the Test match. They were unplayable on their days, Oval 1971 and Delhi 1999 that come to mind immediately. Bedi never really ran through a side and you can hardly recall a match that he won for India. Prasanna atleast had his stamp on two victories for India in Auckland in 1967-68 and 1976, as well as the Chepauk Test against West Indies in 1974-75. Harbhajan has won a few matches but stands behind Kumble and Chandra.

  • tusharsb on September 6, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Best spinner - Subhash Gupte Gupte has been regarded as the best spinner ever by people who saw him .. likes of Sobers. He did not need pitch to assist him. Gupte had the bad luck of having not played in a good fielding side. India dropped many catches off his bowling.

    Remember Bedi, Prasnna, Chandra had Solkar(King of Short leg posn). Also people should look at the player's records all over the world (E.g. Kumble, Bhajji aren't as effective overseas ..even grt Bedi for that matter).

    Second spinner should be Mankad (awa All-rounder to bat at 6) and Prasanna if we plan 2 pace - 3 spinners combo.

    Final XI 1. Gavaskar 2.Sehwag 3. Dravid 4.Tendulkar 5.Laxman 6 Vinoo Mankad/Hazare 7.Dhoni/Engineer(Prefer Engineer .. dnt know whats wrong with the Jry here) 8.kapil 9.ZaK/Prasanna/Md Nissar 10.Srinath 11. S Gupte

  • Jkgsrt on September 6, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    kumble and bedi are the best two spinners.

  • New_Wind on September 6, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    Master confusion. If Kapil is taken as allrounder (he was the best) then I will go with Kumbale and Bedi. If Vinoo is taken as allrounder and Kapil as pace baller (India really needs 2 pace + 3 spin attack) then I will go with Kumbale and Prasanna for variety. Also, it wouldn't have hurt to mention Shivlal Yadav for his 35 test 105 wickets and Bapu Nadkarni for his world record economy rates.

  • BillyCC on September 6, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    Given that Mankad will probably get the all-rounder role and Dev a fast bowler role, two spinners from this list should be enough. If that is not the view of the selectors, then maybe three spinners should be chosen. Anyway, in terms of which two should be chosen, I have no idea. Kumble will most likely be one, and since Mankad bowled left-arm, Prasanna would be a good choice to get the variety.

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on September 6, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    I won't argue with Jim Laker. Bedi and Kumble for me.

  • GokulNathBabu on September 6, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    Bedi is missing in the poll list!

  • SRKatik on September 6, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    I choose Kumble and Bedi. I have not seen others much. Harbhajan need to prove more to be in all time XI.

  • on September 6, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    i think kumble's position is fixed as he was an ultimate fighter. He was such a spinner who didnt had much turn to trouble the batsman but he was dedicated to the art of spin. Such spinners are very rare and they have the capability to take wickets on any type of pitch. , be it flat, turning or green. I feel India had a golden generation in the late 90s with kumble, dravid, laxman,ganguly, azhar,jadeja...all there. Just the thing was that their golden generation was overlapped by a period of inconsistency and australian dominance. So Kumble being a certainity in the XI ...i think it will be to prassana, harbhajan and bedi to fill the 2nd spot.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on September 6, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    the toughest competition....comparable to picking pacers from the WI XI and openers from Eng XI...for me Kumble with Prasanna should make the cut...as they provide both variety and guile to pick wickets even on unhelpful wickets...Bedi misses out as we'd already have a left-arm spinner in Vinoo Mankad...and a special mention for including Dileep Doshi in the nominations...even if for a token inclusion...

  • manasvi_lingam on September 6, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Poor selection of contender here! Venkat was a great gully fielder and useful bat but he was NOT a good bowler. A look at his average and performances will reveal the same. Dilip Doshi and Mankad were good but not deserving of places here. If they deserved places then so did Ghulam Ahmed (who was one of the great spin trio along with Mankad and Gupte) and Venkatapathy Raju. Even Sunil Joshi, Arshad Ayub, Salim Durrani, Bapu Nadkarni and Shivlal Yadav have a better average than Venkat. And a correction: Our first great spinner and one of the greatest was Palwankar Baloo who boasts of a FC average of around 15. There were many exceptional spinners such as Shivalkar and Goel who never got their chances.

  • on September 6, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Kumble is a blind choice for anyone.And for the second spinner there is fight between Bishen singh bedia and Harbajan.I have voted for harbajan.So my team is Sewag,Gavaskar,Dravid,Sachin,Azhar,Dhoni,Kapil,Zaheer,Srinath,Kumble,Harbajan.

  • aussieump10 on September 6, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    the drop down boxes on the voting page do not include Bedi, please rectify this so I can vote, thanks

  • paperpadi on September 6, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    bishan bedi's name is not in the list..we can't pick him. please rectify it.

  • intcamd on September 6, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Kumble and Chandra; Doshi in the list, why?

  • Ananthasubramanian_Narayanan on September 6, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Some issue with the application. Bedi is not found in the drop downs to put a vote for him.

  • on September 6, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Why ON EARTH are they picking two specialist spinners for India all time XI, but would not pick 4 pace bowlers for the West Indian all time XI?

    Hypocritical

  • on September 6, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    why is Bishan Bedis name not in the drop down list.

  • Psyc_s on September 6, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Selecting Two spinners out of this list will be a real tough job...For pure records and never say die attitude i will go for Anil Bhai, apart from him i had seen the tapes of Chandra's bowling and he has a careless way of celebrating after taking a wicket which shows his tremendorous confidence in himself...I had never seen any other guys bowl so it would be unwise to comment them. My choice is Anil & Chandra.

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  • Psyc_s on September 6, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Selecting Two spinners out of this list will be a real tough job...For pure records and never say die attitude i will go for Anil Bhai, apart from him i had seen the tapes of Chandra's bowling and he has a careless way of celebrating after taking a wicket which shows his tremendorous confidence in himself...I had never seen any other guys bowl so it would be unwise to comment them. My choice is Anil & Chandra.

  • on September 6, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    why is Bishan Bedis name not in the drop down list.

  • on September 6, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Why ON EARTH are they picking two specialist spinners for India all time XI, but would not pick 4 pace bowlers for the West Indian all time XI?

    Hypocritical

  • Ananthasubramanian_Narayanan on September 6, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Some issue with the application. Bedi is not found in the drop downs to put a vote for him.

  • intcamd on September 6, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Kumble and Chandra; Doshi in the list, why?

  • paperpadi on September 6, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    bishan bedi's name is not in the list..we can't pick him. please rectify it.

  • aussieump10 on September 6, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    the drop down boxes on the voting page do not include Bedi, please rectify this so I can vote, thanks

  • on September 6, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Kumble is a blind choice for anyone.And for the second spinner there is fight between Bishen singh bedia and Harbajan.I have voted for harbajan.So my team is Sewag,Gavaskar,Dravid,Sachin,Azhar,Dhoni,Kapil,Zaheer,Srinath,Kumble,Harbajan.

  • manasvi_lingam on September 6, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Poor selection of contender here! Venkat was a great gully fielder and useful bat but he was NOT a good bowler. A look at his average and performances will reveal the same. Dilip Doshi and Mankad were good but not deserving of places here. If they deserved places then so did Ghulam Ahmed (who was one of the great spin trio along with Mankad and Gupte) and Venkatapathy Raju. Even Sunil Joshi, Arshad Ayub, Salim Durrani, Bapu Nadkarni and Shivlal Yadav have a better average than Venkat. And a correction: Our first great spinner and one of the greatest was Palwankar Baloo who boasts of a FC average of around 15. There were many exceptional spinners such as Shivalkar and Goel who never got their chances.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on September 6, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    the toughest competition....comparable to picking pacers from the WI XI and openers from Eng XI...for me Kumble with Prasanna should make the cut...as they provide both variety and guile to pick wickets even on unhelpful wickets...Bedi misses out as we'd already have a left-arm spinner in Vinoo Mankad...and a special mention for including Dileep Doshi in the nominations...even if for a token inclusion...