October 19, 2010

An India to reckon with

What would a team made of players from the side's three most successful eras look like?
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How do you compare cricket teams across eras? Is it right to contrast the performances of those who played on uncovered pitches with no helmets with those of cricketers who play on shirtfronts with every kind of protective equipment imaginable? Can we really compare a time when a run-rate of three an over was considered brisk to an era when it's considered tardy?

Given how often lovers of sport, and journalists, wander off into these fantasy realms, exercises like all-time XIs and greatest teams are all too common. They fuel endless debate and argument, and at the end of it all you can be sure that a lot of people will disagree with your conclusion. Ask an Australian which was the greatest team in baggy green and see how the vote splits. Some will swear by Don Bradman's Invincibles, while others will refuse to see beyond the Steve Waugh vintage that won 16 Tests in succession. There will be advocates, too, for Ian Chappell's side, which featured the talents of the Chappell brothers, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Doug Walters and Rodney Marsh.

The task is actually easier with a team like India, rarely considered a genuine Test force until Sourav Ganguly and John Wright set about changing perceptions in the new millennium. But to say that India had no fine teams before that would be a disservice to those whose efforts in the Caribbean and England in the early 1970s did so much to ensure that cricket became India's sport of choice.

Look at Indian Test history and you can identify three teams that can claim to be special. Between St Valentine's Day in 1971 and mid-February 1973, India played 13 Tests under Ajit Wadekar's stewardship. Victories in Port-of-Spain and at The Oval meant first-ever series wins in the Caribbean and England, and the team followed that up with a 2-1 home triumph against Tony Lewis' Englishmen.

That team had two batting heroes. Sunil Gavaskar didn't play the first Test in the West Indies, but he made 1142 runs at 57.10 in the other 12 matches. Dilip Sardesai played only nine of those games before being dumped at the age of 32, but his 811 runs at 54.06 were critical to Indian success, especially in the Caribbean. Two of the other batting stalwarts had a poor time of it. Gundappa Viswanath had just one hundred and averaged only 33.05 over 11 Tests, while Wadekar's contribution was a modest 30.31 per innings.

The batsmen were to a large extent overshadowed by two of the spin twins. Bishan Singh Bedi played all 13 Tests and took 51 wickets at 31.62, but it was Bhagwath Chandrasekhar who was game-breaker supreme. After being overlooked for the West Indies tour, Chandra took 48 wickets at 21.68 in eight games. His spell of 6 for 38 at The Oval, which included quite a few Mill Reefs - his quicker ones, which not many batsmen could read - was voted Wisden's Indian Bowling Performance of the 20th century a few years ago.

Erapalli Prasanna offered tremendous back-up, with 21 wickets at 29 in six matches, but with Tests so rare in those days, and several in the side ageing, that team wouldn't scale any further peaks. If anything, it was a big trough that awaited them, with the 42 all out at Lord's in 1974 signalling the end of the road for Wadekar as captain and batsman. One more Test and he was gone, taking with him the formula for success overseas.

It wasn't until Wright left Kent and joined the Indians in November 2000 that the team started to shed the garb of lions at home and lambs away. Between December 2001, when they returned home after the Mike Denness fracas in Port Elizabeth and May 2004, the Ganguly-Wright side played 28 Tests. They won 10 of them and lost seven.

They squandered a series lead in the Caribbean in 2002 and were well beaten on seam-friendly surfaces in New Zealand months later, but that period also included drawn series in England and Australia and a first series win on Pakistani soil. They didn't lose a single one of the 10 home Tests (winning five) and were considered Australia's closest contenders before things began to unravel in the autumn of 2004.

With several of that team still having a prominent part to play in the current side, it's interesting to compare their performances then and now. The period following the controversial Sydney Test of 2008 has been one of unprecedented success for the Test team, with 15 wins and only five defeats in 29 games.

Apart from the series in Sri Lanka, when Ajantha Mendis carrom-balled them, India haven't been second-best to anyone, and the run of results has seen them climb right to the top of the rankings. That alone nudges them ahead of the class of 71 and that of 2004.

But how have the main protagonists fared of late when compared to how they did under Wright, another unobtrusive foreign coach? Given his even-keel temperament, it's perhaps no surprise that there's next to no difference in VVS Laxman's figures. Having averaged 58.7 in 27 Tests (five hundreds) in the Ganguly era, he averages 58.85 in 26 games since early 2008, under Anil Kumble and MS Dhoni (four hundreds).

Rahul Dravid, who was the foundation for so many of those successes earlier in the millennium, has seen a marked downturn in his fortunes. In the 28 games he played at the start of the decade, he averaged a staggering 69.74 with eight hundreds. The second flush of success for the team hasn't been anything like as kind. In 27 games, he averages 42.02, with five centuries.

Fortunately for India, the decline in his output has coincided with Sachin Tendulkar enjoying the sunniest of Indian summers. He was hardly a failure under Ganguly and Wright, averaging 57.51 with seven centuries, but post-Sydney his batting has been on another plane. In 27 games, he has scored 11 hundreds while averaging an astonishing 64.47.

The man once seen as his clone has experienced a similar upswing in fortunes. Virender Sehwag had five hundreds in 21 Tests (average of 53) soon after he broke into the side, but since the Australia series in 2007-08, when he returned to the fray, he has pillaged 2997 runs at 59.94. There have been nine centuries and the scoring rate (92 runs per 100 balls) would make most one-day batsmen stare at the ground in shame.

The older side had Ganguly scoring four centuries and averaging 44.08, but his exit hasn't been keenly felt thanks to the emergence of Gautam Gambhir (eight hundreds and an average of 62.73) and the ability of Dhoni (average of 46.36 and three centuries ) to hold the lower order together.

But batting alone can't win you a Test match. Ganguly was fortunate in the extreme to have two spinners bowling as well as they have ever done. Though they couldn't always play together, both Kumble and Harbhajan Singh contributed immeasurably to those successes. After returning from shoulder surgery, Kumble took 116 wickets at 27.83 in 21 Tests, while Harbhajan's return was 83 wickets at 27.12 (19 Tests).

Since 2008, Harbhajan has taken 113 wickets at 33.12 in 25 Tests. Kumble exited the stage in late 2008, but India's strike-power hasn't suffered unduly thanks to Zaheer Khan discovering new strings for his pace-bowling bow. Under Wright and Ganguly, Zaheer was still finding his feet in the international arena and his figures (61 wickets at 32.24 in 20 Tests) are indicative of that. In his last 21 games, he has taken 84 wickets at 30.15, and the strike-rate (53) suggests how integral he has been to the team's success.

If you were to pick a composite team across the three eras, who would be the men in contention? Not surprisingly, most of the slots would be filled by the moderns, with only Gavaskar and Chandrasekhar from the 1971-73 side uncontested picks for the XI. For what it's worth, my team is given below. Let the debates begin.

1. Virender Sehwag, 2. Sunil Gavaskar, 3. Rahul Dravid (2001-04), 4. Sachin Tendulkar (2008-10), 5. VVS Laxman, 6. Sourav Ganguly (capt), 7. MS Dhoni (wk), 8. Anil Kumble, 9. Zaheer Khan, 10. Ishant Sharma (70 wickets at 35.82) 11. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • S.N.Singh on October 22, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    YOUR SELECTION IS VERY GOOD, ALTHOUGH, I WOULD HAVE LIKE TO HAVE GUPTIE INSTEAD OF CKANDRASHAKER , KAPIL DEV INSTEAD OF KHAN, AND WADEKAR INSTEAD OF GANGULY.UNDER WADEKAR CAPTAINCY, HE WON TWO SERIES AGAINST REAL TOP CLASS PLAYERS. TO BEAT THE WEST INDIES IN THE WEST INDIES AGAINST THE GREAT GARY SOBERS AND ENGLAND WITH THE STRONGEST ENGLAND TEAM WAS AN ACHIEVMENT BY IT SELF. IN THE WEST INDIES HE USED DURINI AS A MAIN BOWLER, WHICH OTHER CAPTAIN WOULD NOT HAVE DONE. I STILL THINK YOUR TEAM IS VERY GOOD.

  • sundarb on October 21, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    @Navillus - that is a decent article making a persuasive argument that time-stamping the player chosen into an all-time XI should be done considering the player's greatness over a considerable amount of time. What Dileep has done here is, at least in the case of Ishant - he has picked the short peak of a good bowler, defntly not a great one. Although his logic of picking him is consistent with his reasoning - given that he has limited his selection into just the 3 eras he has identified. Kapil doesn't even come into picture for the 3 eras he has chosen because Kapil was unlucky to be a part of a team that had poor win/loss ratio. Although I'll argue that out of the 131 matches that Kapil played during his career -India won only 24 and 75 matches resulted in a draw - if we luk at the impact he has had on the team during those wins & draws, they'll be more than enough to bring him into the playing XI. There's always flaws in any team selection across eras, which we'll have to live with.

  • Navillus on October 21, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    I think including Kapil's era of 1986 will be a way to end all the controversy, but I guess in that case Dilip Vengsarkar will merit a place in the side ... he had an amazing year in 86... A similar article ... although not cutting eras into small silos can be found here http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2010/10/problems-of-all-time-xi-including-with.html ... this guy writes better than most of the cricinfo staff ...

  • on October 21, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    Seriously!!! At a time when we have been complaining about us having a weak bowling attackm we pick 2 of our current bowlers!!

  • on October 21, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Well done, but Kapil is missed, a team without Kapil is team without the energy and enthusiasam,

  • Apache_Indian on October 21, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    Add 12th man to it. Ravindra Jadeja :D

  • shovwar on October 21, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    @ NATASRIK good points about the eras...Azahar's era was one of my favourrite era...But India was not Unbeatable...u can say ALMOST unbeatable because they had a record defeat at home by the hands of Hansie Cronje's SA team who defeated India in India in 2000...SA was the only team to do that in Azhars Era....Still I would say a great Era for India.....

  • VicksXI on October 21, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    Biggest suprise- Ishant Sharma in side and no all rounder..... Kapil Dev can fit in any indian cricket team......what an error by an editor for cricinfo....... i can write better articles than you about cricket......

  • on October 20, 2010, 22:27 GMT

    Agree much with the team selected, though Kapil Dev not being a part of the team is very conspicuous by his absence. But full marks in having Ganguly the great as captain of the team - awesome!

  • PradeepR on October 20, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Epic comment this by Mukund - "No Kapil Dev, hahaha I'd like a drag of whatever you're smoking!!! If Ishant takes half the wickets Kail did (forget about the runs) it will be a miracle!!" Of late, I am seeing more and more of these crappy articles. If you want to read one more, check out David Frith's piece. He has a test team with two bowlers!!! Cricinfo needs to work on its quality.

  • S.N.Singh on October 22, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    YOUR SELECTION IS VERY GOOD, ALTHOUGH, I WOULD HAVE LIKE TO HAVE GUPTIE INSTEAD OF CKANDRASHAKER , KAPIL DEV INSTEAD OF KHAN, AND WADEKAR INSTEAD OF GANGULY.UNDER WADEKAR CAPTAINCY, HE WON TWO SERIES AGAINST REAL TOP CLASS PLAYERS. TO BEAT THE WEST INDIES IN THE WEST INDIES AGAINST THE GREAT GARY SOBERS AND ENGLAND WITH THE STRONGEST ENGLAND TEAM WAS AN ACHIEVMENT BY IT SELF. IN THE WEST INDIES HE USED DURINI AS A MAIN BOWLER, WHICH OTHER CAPTAIN WOULD NOT HAVE DONE. I STILL THINK YOUR TEAM IS VERY GOOD.

  • sundarb on October 21, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    @Navillus - that is a decent article making a persuasive argument that time-stamping the player chosen into an all-time XI should be done considering the player's greatness over a considerable amount of time. What Dileep has done here is, at least in the case of Ishant - he has picked the short peak of a good bowler, defntly not a great one. Although his logic of picking him is consistent with his reasoning - given that he has limited his selection into just the 3 eras he has identified. Kapil doesn't even come into picture for the 3 eras he has chosen because Kapil was unlucky to be a part of a team that had poor win/loss ratio. Although I'll argue that out of the 131 matches that Kapil played during his career -India won only 24 and 75 matches resulted in a draw - if we luk at the impact he has had on the team during those wins & draws, they'll be more than enough to bring him into the playing XI. There's always flaws in any team selection across eras, which we'll have to live with.

  • Navillus on October 21, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    I think including Kapil's era of 1986 will be a way to end all the controversy, but I guess in that case Dilip Vengsarkar will merit a place in the side ... he had an amazing year in 86... A similar article ... although not cutting eras into small silos can be found here http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2010/10/problems-of-all-time-xi-including-with.html ... this guy writes better than most of the cricinfo staff ...

  • on October 21, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    Seriously!!! At a time when we have been complaining about us having a weak bowling attackm we pick 2 of our current bowlers!!

  • on October 21, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    Well done, but Kapil is missed, a team without Kapil is team without the energy and enthusiasam,

  • Apache_Indian on October 21, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    Add 12th man to it. Ravindra Jadeja :D

  • shovwar on October 21, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    @ NATASRIK good points about the eras...Azahar's era was one of my favourrite era...But India was not Unbeatable...u can say ALMOST unbeatable because they had a record defeat at home by the hands of Hansie Cronje's SA team who defeated India in India in 2000...SA was the only team to do that in Azhars Era....Still I would say a great Era for India.....

  • VicksXI on October 21, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    Biggest suprise- Ishant Sharma in side and no all rounder..... Kapil Dev can fit in any indian cricket team......what an error by an editor for cricinfo....... i can write better articles than you about cricket......

  • on October 20, 2010, 22:27 GMT

    Agree much with the team selected, though Kapil Dev not being a part of the team is very conspicuous by his absence. But full marks in having Ganguly the great as captain of the team - awesome!

  • PradeepR on October 20, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Epic comment this by Mukund - "No Kapil Dev, hahaha I'd like a drag of whatever you're smoking!!! If Ishant takes half the wickets Kail did (forget about the runs) it will be a miracle!!" Of late, I am seeing more and more of these crappy articles. If you want to read one more, check out David Frith's piece. He has a test team with two bowlers!!! Cricinfo needs to work on its quality.

  • riskreddy on October 20, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    @Dileep Premachandran

    I have looked up Ishants record for the period under consideration. He seems to have 70 wickets in 25 tests/43 innings at an average of almost 38 with an economy rate of 3.5. These numbers clearly look fairly ordinary to me, and least of all qualifying enough to get into an "Indian team to 'rekon' with". Dont you think? And what criterion did you use to pick the "period under consideration"? I m sure there are better performances from other bowlers in specific "periods of consideration". I agree with you about the 10 of the 11 you picked here, but inclusion of Ishant Sharma really surprised me, especially that comming from a person (you) who seemed to have vivid knowledge of subject cricket.

  • natasrik on October 20, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    I would like to add two more eras, First Kapil Dev era, when India won the WC and the 1986 England series which India won easily. Another era is during Azhars period, India won most ODI triangular series during that period and also under his captaincy Indian team Won 14 test matches, although all in subcontinent but India where unbeatable during that period in India.

  • Aniruddha_A on October 20, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Mr. Premachandran, How could you miss one golden period of Indian cricket (somewhat dismissed in the the statement : 'lions at home and lambs away')? Statistically, that was by far the best period Indian cricket has ever seen. From Jan1993-Nov1996 under Azhar and last 4 tests under Sachin, India played 24 tests, won 13 and lost 3 with 6 of those wins being mammoth innings victories!!! The fact that India played just 3 overseas series out of 9 during that period doesn't take the sheen off the absolute suzerainty we enjoyed at home. We're close to our best even in ODIs with wins like Hero Cup, Singer Cup, Wills World Series, Sharjah('95),Titan Cup ('96) and Semi Final spot in W'Cup. In fact, Mihir Bose in his authoritative work ''A History of Indian Cricket'' has dedicated a chapter to that period titled 'Ram Rajya of Indian Cricket' describing it as an era Indian cricket has never seen and will probably never see again, an era when whatever India touched turned to gold!

  • keralapara on October 20, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    TAKE A VOTING, THIS ARTICLE WILL GET MOST VOTE FOR HATED ARTICLE IN CRICINFO. NO AUTHORS GET THIS MUCH KICKING FROM THE READERS. DILLEP GROW UP MAN. ONLY FOR FOR KIDS, 2 YEARS LOOK LIKE AN ERA. THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE.

  • anonymousfan on October 20, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    @Dileep Premachandran. Excellent analysis and a very good team selection. I was disappointed after looking at the ATXI published a few days ago. This team is definitely better than that one. My only bone of contention to pick with you is that you seem to be getting agitated by what some idiots have posted here. Do not waste your precious time in responding to all the rubbish that is being said. Once again congrats for a job well done.

  • keralapara on October 20, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    DILLEP NEED TO UNDERSTAND. ERA-LONG PERIOD OF TIME. SEASON- ONE YEAR OF CRICKET (FROM FEW MONTHS). YOU CAN SAY I DID COMPARE TWO CONSECUTIVE SEASONS, NOT ERAS. THAT IS WHY PEOPLE ARE FUMING. LOOK DICTIONARY FOR MEANING.

  • on October 20, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    Kapil Dev is a very obvious omission from thsi list. He should be in at the expense of Ishant Sharma who really has not acheived much to warrant a place consistently even in the current playing Eleven.

    Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Srinath and Syed Kirmani the other contenders to make a touring fifteen.

  • karthikfromchennai on October 20, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    @Keralpara...excellent explanation......I think the author does not know the meaning of era...he has selected a team that has players from famous wins...not from different eras. The author's explanation in the discussion forum "Ishant's figures since Jan 7, 2008, the period under consideration" is very funny...So, that makes Jan 2007 to till date is an era....then sachin played in atleast 15 eras ...if you break the 21 years he played...lol

  • Navillus on October 20, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    Cricinfo's statistical analysis most often reports data as data without converting it into inferences - producing reports and lists without statistical techniques other than average. ... but this really takes it into a new level of ridiculousness... Sourav Ganguly had his merits as captain, but was just plain lucky as well to have Dravid, sachin, sehwag, kumble, harbhajan and Srinath at the height of their powers ... along with those back to back series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. And about Kapil and Srinath giving way to Ishant Sharma ... what more can one say? This is one of the worst articles in Cricinfo .. and in general, the standard is plummeting down. Dileep, please limit yourself to what you know ...

  • ArkaDada on October 20, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    To say Dhoni being a better captain/contributor as leader than Ganguly just because of having better success percentage is same as saying Ponting being the better leader than Steve Waugh or Mark Taylor or Allan Border - the persons responsible for making Australia the invincibles from an ordinary also-ran team. Ponting initially was also hugely successful when he had Gilly-Warnie-Mcgrath-Hayden in his team. Dhoni's time will start once Sachin-Rahul-Laxman goes away. Remember, the current Indian test team has not got a single player who is Mr.Dependable and has been grown under Dhoni's tenure (except Gambhir). Even after 2-3 years, team is dependent on Sachin-Dravid-Laxman-Sehwag-Zaheer-Bhajji, the rest in the team except Dhoni comes in and goes out of Indian team.

    Its easy to eat the baked cake, but it is difficult to bake a good cake.

  • evenflow_1990 on October 20, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    i don't care what words you choose, you should have amended your eras so that kapil dev would have been chosen dileep. he was the first man in the world chosen in the international "legends of cricket" and he cannot make it into your indian all time eleven? really? and ishant sharma makes it? he cannot bat or bowl like dev, nor can he captain like him.

  • 1990abhi9 on October 20, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    and if u dont want to c ganguly as captain....,

    then throw away the crap called captaincy away from him and then judge him as a player jus look at his performances in pre and early 2000's and his third and last innings from 2007......,

    he could be simply seen as the magnificnt Player in the World in the same period in which he isnt a captain.....

  • 1990abhi9 on October 20, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    i donno how to judge but......,

    I am sure GANGULY as captian could make difference even with santa and banta in his team...... :)

  • _Maverick_ on October 20, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    @Dileep so this is just a list of people with better averages in those termed "eras" I guess. Not the best players on those eras too. Ishanth over Srinath dude??!! You just lost a reader, I am sorry

  • Arun14 on October 20, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    Keralapara - good point. And then we can 11 Tendulkars from 11 different eras making up the 'dream' team. ha ha.

  • SpeedCricketThrills on October 20, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Dilip, this is a novel approach which needs to be refined. Here are my observations:

    1) Your composite team doesn't have a single allrounder! I believe 'composite team' has the same meaning as the all too familiar 'All Time XI' post 1970 in this case.

    2) You've missed out the 1981 team under Gavaskar that toured Australia (post Packer). For the first time ever, they drew the series - having lost every series before that in Australia. Kapil was the hero who helped India win the 3rd test and level the series.

    3) During the period Nov 79-July 82, Kapil played 22 tests (34 batting innings, 38 bowling innings) with a batting average of 32.74; 89 wickets for 2513 runs at 28.23 per wicket). His bowling figures are any day better than Zaheer and Ishant.

    4) If the crown jewel of Indian cricket is missing in your list, there obviously must be a flaw in the methodology.

    But an interesting, new way of looking across eras.

  • knowledge_eater on October 20, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Enjoyed the article, I just felt like I read it in one breath. I think people are misunderstanding the essence of an article. I think he was trying to choose team, who have won test matches consistently against the odds and depends on special performance. Picking Ishant Sharma was really revolutionary, which also proves that Indian bowlers aren't that bad as people sledge them. Even they weren't rated high on bowling rating by few past cricketers, I say if Indian bowling is weak then how on earth they managed to take wickets ! This article's team is team of Supremacy of India in particular time being. It is team who have won matches for India against Tough task consistently.

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on October 20, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    Continuing from where I left in my previous post - In any of those four eras, Kapil and Srinath would walk into the Indian XI on any given day with Zaheer as the back up pacer. You have given importance to eras going by when we started to win Tests. Fair enough. But circumspect. Because I don't think those (mere) wins in 70s moved our souls as much as Kapil's 1983 heroics or the eternally pleasing on the eyes innings of revival by VVS's epic 281, when we captured the Prudential Cup on a world stage in the case of the former and when there began a new chapter of understanding of the boundaries of what is humanly possible in the case of the latter. Sorry Dileep. I can't agree with your criteria though your effort was laudable and a food for thought.

  • on October 20, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Ishant Sharma? Really? Ahead of Kapil Dev? You must be kidding...

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on October 20, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    Dileep, come to think of it, I'm also wrong in trying to agree with you in one of my previous posts for leaving out Kapil Dev. As most seem to say here - there are only two eras Pre-Kapil and Post-Kapil or Pre-1983 and Post-1983 (though that was a success in ODIs). Era has to have a historic significance. A defining moment. Another era that should come to everybody's mind is Pre-VVS's 281 era and Post-VVS's 281 era, pre- 2006 conquest of Caribbean era and post-2006 conquest of Caribbean era etc. These were milestones in Indian Cricket. The eras that most of us dubiously got addicted to like Wadekar, Ganguly, Dravid-Kumble combo era, Dhoni eras are fallacious to start with. Of all the eras the best ways to define Indian Cricket are: 1.pre and post-1983 eras or 2. pre and post-VVS's 281 eras.

  • on October 20, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    I agree guys... I would have kept KDev in place of Ishant.. The man's sheer presence was enough to scare the opposition off...Remember the four sixes to avoid the follow on? His wild knock against the minnows when the team was down in dumps and someone who held the world record for highest number of wickets in Test cricket can never be left out of any outfit....

  • Big_Poppa on October 20, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    Why are people arguing over something that won't be productive for anyone?

  • Natx on October 20, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    Kumble and Chandra - very similar sort of bowlers to me and I will pick Chandra over Kumble for the very reason some of his victims include better rated batsmen than Kumble. For the second spinner spot - it's a toss up between Venkat and Prasanna and any one of them are 1000 times better than Harbhajan. Zaheer Khan? Give me a break. I dont remember an Indian fast bowler getting pasted in most of the final matches when it mattered.It was because of him India lost 2003 WC. I would rather pick Kapil just for his 500% commitment to the team no matter what his "form" was. Similarly Srinath deserves to be in instead of Ishant (who is still a rookie to me) just for the fact that he won more matches for India than Ishant. Not sure why Dhoni needs to be there if Ganguly is in. I would rather pick Kirmani or Sadanand Viswanath who were better keepers.

  • on October 20, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    food for thought i wud say . if u hav to select a 11 out of all the players from indian cricket history , i m quite sure , we will hav to select a couple of teams to accomodate all those great names. this topic has a wider scope . it wud only make sense to put such a topic in to wider arena such as a book. being said that, there is also option fo reader input so readers can do thier part to make this article complete.

  • on October 20, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    No Kapil Dev, hahaha I'd like a drag of whatever you're smoking!!! If Ishant takes half the wickets Kail did (forget about the runs) it will be a miracle!!

  • sudhindranath on October 20, 2010, 0:05 GMT

    I agree that the usage of "era" should refer to long periods of time and not just one or two series or just one or two years. A couple of years in the 70's, another couple of years in the early part of this decade and the last couple of years, are NOT three "era"s!

    Labeling them "era"s is what led to the confusion among so many readers because the natural tendency is to assume that the eras are contiguous (or are overlapping to some extent).

  • Nitinrohmetra on October 19, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    Ishant should be replaced with Kapil Dev.

  • on October 19, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    Dileep ok!!! Your point about Kapil Dev has been noted. Sorry.

  • on October 19, 2010, 22:25 GMT

    In defence of Dileep's selection: 1. Why are so many of you whingeing about Kapil Dev? Can't you read? Dileep stated very specifically that his side is comprised of players from three distinct eras: Kapil falls into NONE of those eras. DUH. 2. Ishant as he is NOW is a better choice than the ageing Srinath of 2000-02, as he brings pace, penetration & a never-say-die attitude to a side in dire need of quality fast bowling. 3. Yes, Vishwanath was a true artist as a batsman, but this side is about WINNING, not about making pretty half-centuries in a losing cause: Ganguly in place of Vishy is an absolute must, firstly for his up & at 'em style of captaincy & secondly for his role as a third seamer (if needed). Personally, I'd have gone for the variety of Bedi ahead of Kumble, but the counter-argument is that Kumble provides grit & steel at No. 8, while also being slightly more consistent as a bowler...

  • sweetyrags on October 19, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Where is Kapil Dev? and what is Ishanth sharma doing in this hide. He cant bowl 25% of Kapil. What a lousy team without an allrounder. Poor Selection. Wicket keeper should be Kirmani. He was and is the best wicket keeper India ever had.

  • Bhatin on October 19, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    How about picking up a world 11 ?? My pics would be Gavaskar, Barry Richards, Victor Trumper, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Garry Sobers, Alan Knott, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Michael Holding, Muralitharan

  • CollegePacer on October 19, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    I am unable to see the merit in this article. You have picked 2-3 most successful eras from Indian cricket, and picking players using statsGuru. Why do you want to do this? What debate will you create? The simple answer is go to StatsGuru, find the top 11 and you're done. We can have so many such teams like this, best team of the 70's, best team of the 80's and so on.

  • VancouverPunekar on October 19, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    @DileepPremachandran

    If you are the actual author you are undermining yourself even responding to the posts of uninformed

  • on October 19, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    crap and wasted time in this.

  • VancouverPunekar on October 19, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Guys chill.. this is not all time 11. As to why Kapil dev is not part of any successul era? That is something for you to find out, nothign to do with his greatness. Whenever Kapil Dev was part of the team, looks like the team didn't have a succesfull test stint that lasted for a considerable time, which ever way you look at it. Perhaps he was just a one man show without getting much help from other around in the team . Unfortunate that is...But the fact remains he is not part of any of the successful eras and this team. Period

    Why do we have to get emotional?

  • Kaze on October 19, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    I'm enjoying the comments and the frustrated replies by the author. *Grabs popcorn and munches* thinks that ignorance knows no bounds.

  • nitiraj on October 19, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Dileep,

    Your article appears to be a weak attempt to be creative about selecting an Indian XI. Judging by the comments, most people don't agree with your definition of the three golden eras. Besides, you seem to have looked at the player's form in a few test matches, and not their class (i.e., srinath vs ishant), and made the elementary mistake of having two very similar bowlers (i.e., kumble and chandrashekhar).

    In the article you say "let the debates begin". But how can there be a debate if you're basing your selection ONLY on statistics from those test matches, and not the class of players in contention (again, srinath vs ishant)?

    Thirdly, it doesn't befit an associate editor of cricinfo to call the responses "rubbish". If you can't handle criticism, don't ask for feedback in your article.

  • riskreddy on October 19, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    I am not sure like many others debating here about Ishant Sharma being included in this squad. What critirion was used in picking Ishant Sharma ahead of Kapil Dev? Or was it just a spelling mistake (j/k)? All stats, records, and history unanimously point to Kapil Dev being included in the all time great Indian team. There is no reason why Kapil Dev should be left out and least of all Ishant Sharma be picked instead.

  • dyogesh on October 19, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    Finally, a write who responds to comments on his column ! Cheers for that, Dileep. But sadly you have chosen the wrong column for responding as the comments haven't been worthy enough to enrich both the writer and the reader. This also proves why the Indian media still has an audience.

    Chappelli picked a year back, a XI from the three best teams at that moment - India, Saffers & Aussies. In spirit, yours is similar to him. Though i don't debate the XI barring Sardesai instead of Dada, i ain't too enthused by the this XI's spree on cricinfo. I hope that this shall be the last.

  • on October 19, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    hi dileep, cant stop laughing man... look at you... why did u do that.. Am sure u expected less when u wrote that last sentence! "Let the debate begin". It was all well.. good. until U decided to pick an XI out of them!

  • sekharT on October 19, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    This article shows the immaturity of the writer by forgetting Kapil, one of the legends of cricket.

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    I think the main problem with this piece is that it goes by very ill-defined "eras" that no cricket fan can easily separate out in their mind. The eras don't have the same clarity as say, "pre-War" and "post-War", or "pre-1983" and "post-1983" etc.

    On top of that, the author has his own criteria of whether or not someone played a "peripheral" role, even if he played during one or more of the said eras.

    Thirdly, is there some rule that there HAS to be a second pace bowler? In one of the eras that the author mentions, there was NO pace bowler! So, why should we be compelled to pick a second pacer just for the heck of it?! The fact that the second pacer is such a poor choice shows that the cupboard is bare. So, it is better to settle for Gavaskar as a makeshift opening bowler, or as someone else suggested, have Abid Ali instead, who has much better credentials as a late-order bat.

  • Shripathi on October 19, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    "this writer was either drunk while penning this article or does not know any thing abt indian cricket. how dare does he pick a team sans the great kapil dev? "

    Except that Dileep is not picking the best team ever. It is not among his best columns, but the objective was to pick players from three specific eras. I don't fully understand it either, but I understand you even less. No daring is needed to pick Kapil Dev, all you need is a criteria. His excludes it. For example, if someone were asked to pick the best Indian team since 2000, GASP, Kapil will not make it in that team either!

  • on October 19, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    @ all supporting Kapil Dev : He was definitely the best player around...a complete cricketer.....BUT for god's sake accept the simple fact that the test team of his era cant be counted.....forget WC....we are talking about test matches....and this is the first time we are dominating it....its like winning WC of test matches....... YOU GUYZ DARE TO CLAIM SACHIN BETTER THAN DON THEN DARE TO ACCEPT THAT KAPIL WAS NEVER A PART OF SUCCESSFUL TEST TEAM(ofcourse now you guyz will start counting the fews series he won.....and that will be like crossing limits and then I will go to sleep)

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    An era is a commonly used word for long period of time -wikipedia a long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic-oxford dictionary.

  • on October 19, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Wow..... I never thought I'd see a renowned and respected columnist as frustrated as in some of the posts/replies to posts... C'mon guys.. Understand what he's trying to show.. instead.. he's done a wonderful job and given us great avenue for thought... i completely agree with the team from the significant test eras.. and Ishant definitely makes the cut... If u dont believe me..and dont believe Dileep Premchandran..or even statsguru... Just ask Ricky Ponting and his aussie team..

  • ABTheSeclector on October 19, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    What... no Kail Dev or Srinath in pace dept??? Are you crazy or used to fail in maths to see the numbers? My team would be - 1. Virender Sehwag 2. Sunil Gavaskar 3. Gundapa Vishvanath 4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. VVS Laxman 6. Kapil Dev 7. MS Dhoni (C & Wk) 8. Anil Kumble 9. Zaheer Khan 10. Javagal Srinath 11. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. I would keep backups in Dravid & Azharuddin (for batsmen), Kirmani (for wk), Prasanna & Subhash Gupte (as the bowlers). You need strike bowlers in any era to win matches, with two world class all rounders in Kapil and Dhoni the team has five great batsman and two good batsman - enough to score 500 each time against any bowling.

  • upendradixit on October 19, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Dear Dileep, stats dont tell all the story. No way you can justify Ishant over Srinath. And as commented earlier, Eknath Solkar over Saurav for his all round capability and fielding+catching alone

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Jan 7, 2008 to October 2010 (one era) !!!!!. You are a genius. Why not October 1, 2010 to October 13, 2010. (GOLDEN ERA- 2 test victory in 2 weeks) First check with dictionary for the meaning of an era.

  • on October 19, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    What? no K'DEv? Dileep I like your writing and your judgment. But this time you completely lost the plot.

  • on October 19, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    I don't know whats wrong with you Dileep. It seems you made a huge mistake with this one exlcuing our greatest ever all-rounder "Kapil Dev".. I was a fan of your articles but this one has really disappointed me...to the extent that i dont feel like saying anything...

  • vivsin on October 19, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    1. Virender Sehwag, 2. Sunil Gavaskar, 3. Rahul Dravid (2001-04), 4. Sachin Tendulkar (2008-10), 5. VVS Laxman, 6. Kapil Dev , 7. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8. Manoj Prabhakar/ Javagal SrinathE Prassana, 9. Zaheer Khan, 10. E Prassana, 11. Subhash gupte 12. A Kumble.

    Its no point playing Kumble and Gupte in the same team coz both are leg spin googly bowlers and I will have the best off spinner the world has seen in Prassana, apart from that Ganguly is replaced by Kapil( India's highest wicket taking fast bowler) as a bowling all rounder and we can get Dhoni to be the captain and Ishant is replaced by Sirnath or Prabhakr, Srinath was a very hard working bowler and led Indian pace attach for almost a decade without any consistent partner and Prabhakar will only be there for his good credentials as a swing bowler and more than a handy batsman. this team can win anywhere be it home or away with almost 8 people who can bat and 8 people who can bowl.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    @keralapara....here's a clue for you. It's called Statsguru. You might want to check Ishant's figures since Jan 7, 2008, the period under consideration.

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    Like A.D and B.C, I ndian cricket have only two eras, before KAPIL and AFTER KAPIL.end of discussion.

  • on October 19, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    this writer was either drunk while penning this article or does not know any thing abt indian cricket. how dare does he pick a team sans the great kapil dev? iam not too sure of this writers age if today he is making a living out of cricket it is just bcos of 3 great players srt, smg and kapil dev. Hope u remamber if u dont just look into his contributions.

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    Dillep check with cricinfo and get educate Ishant's wicket and average.

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    No era in Indian cricket other than 1983 (world cup) pre and post eras.

  • on October 19, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    I have read some brilliant articles in cricinfo but i will have to say this is most dub i read so far on any cricketing website/megzine.

    1 Isahnt Over Kapil cannot be explained 2 Chandra/Kumble how about varity in Spin dept (Both are genius however a varity is required ) 3 Not a single Allrounder 4 Just one Established fast bowler(zaheer) who often suffer with injuries 5 Captaincy is a different Debate all together (Ganguly ,Dhoni or Wadeker)

    and many many more if we dig deep in it but i dont wanna think any more over such a dumb thing Cricinfo Editor's please have a looks before you post such a thing.

  • on October 19, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    This would suggest that the present team - bar one or two players was the best of the three eras. Let's take 5 batsmen, a batting all-rounder, a wicket keeper, 2 spinners and 2 fast men. Who do we have? The best spinners India has ever produced were Prasanna and Gupte. There is no way around them. Two openers. Sunil Gavaskar is one purist. Vijay Merchant as the other option. In him we have a batsmen who doesn't try to flay every ball, without moving his feet. Solid as the wall, as Rahul Dravid has proven over the years, my choice is Polly Umrigar, on of the most classiest batsman of his time. A brilliant slip fielder, he was also a decent bowler. Tendulkar is best at 4. The best Indian batsman, ever. Gundappa Vishwanath is my choice for the next slot. A century on debut, he was a delight to behold. A stylist of the highest order. My batting all rounder here would be Vinoo Mankad, with Syed Kirmani - India's finest stumper coming in next. Kapil Dev and Mohamed Nissar complete the team.

  • Bamarolls on October 19, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    Dileep, I take back a few of my complaints for not including Kapil Dev in your specially nuanced team. I understand your definition of the "eras" a little better after you published your frustration filled post. BUT, HOW DARE YOU DEFINE ANY ERA in INDIAN CRICKET, without KAPIL DEV? Just like in bollywood movies, there is a pre-SHOLAY era and a post-SHOLAY era; until someone else leads a team to win WC, there is a pre-Kapil era and a post-Kapil era in Indian Cricket. I consider it blasphemous to describe any era in Indian Cricket without the mention of Kapil Dev. Thank you!

  • team6 on October 19, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Author got 90%right but he sounds retarded by not picking the Great Kapil Dev Sir. If you go with mere stats Mr. Author then that will be stupidity. I think Kapil Dev has best cricketing brains around. He sensed T20 will help in the success of budding talents but BCCI opposed ICL and made Lalit Modi incharge of IPL. Well everyone is well aware of What happened next!!!! Kapil Dev should come back into the administration of Indian Cricket for it's best future.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Sreesanth has 16 wickets at 46 post-Sydney 2008. Better than Ishant's figures? Only if your mathematics is as poor as your comprehension.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    Why those eras? Because Wadekar's team fell apart after that. But they were the pioneers when it came to winning important Test matches abroad. Ganguly's side also went downhill after April 2004. As for why the start date is Dec 2001, the Denness affair was a big moment in the making of that side. And even if they lost in the West Indies, it was the first time India had won a Test there since '76.

  • ArunKB on October 19, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Dileep, I have enjoyed reading your columns . This would not go down as one of your top 100. It is illogical to have Ganguly in the team. Yes, he changed the way we played but SG or MSD would be as good of a choice as Captain. His batting slot has to go to Mohinder Amarnath (remember him?). Kapil Dev has to be in place of Ishant with Kumble/Ishant /Prasanna fighting for one spot to be decided based on the pitch. Please don not drink before you write.

  • dyogesh on October 19, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    Though Ishant is a surprise pick, it is rather an indictment of India's poor pace resources. And as usual so many spinners competing. Given Sardesai's numbers , contributions and that he was a middle order bat, why not Sardesai instead of Ganguly ? I would therefore put Sardesai at no. 5, VVS at no.6 and Dhoni as the captain.

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Sreesant - 18 tests, 62 wicket Ave: 33.03 Ishant - 27 tests, 76 wickets, ave: 37.40. Tell me Dileep, who is a better bowler?

  • on October 19, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Ishant Sharma? You must be joking!

  • Shripathi on October 19, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    @dileep ""If you were to pick a composite team across the three eras, who would be the men in contention?" - Now, which part of that sentence is not clear?'

    ----- The part that provides the criteria for selecting the era(s). How long is an era? Is it measured in terms of years or tests or series? You have one era from 71 to 73 as 13 tests, another from 2001 to 2004 as 28 tests, and yet another (and I am reading hard to find this) is from 2008 to 2010 for 29 tests. Uneven breakdown. Other than that your assertion of those being the best teams is at least questionable.

    Clarity, which is usually your forte, is not on display here. This sounds more like "Ok from 1971 to 1973, 2001 to 2004, 2008 to 2010", pick the best team from players who played in that set."

    It sounds contrived. Considering that a LOT of the players were in both of the latter two sets, they get two chances (either as part of 2, or as part of 3) as compared to just 1 for the first set, which is also hoaky.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    And Srinath took 26 wickets at 40 in the 12 Tests he played in the period under consideration.

  • on October 19, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    the big question --- how did Ishant got place here??

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on October 19, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    @Dileep Premchandran, as much as I understand your frustration at some readers comments, I would like to point out that Srinath played 21 test matches under Ganguly for 3 years (2000, 2001, 2002) where as Ishant all in all till now played only 15 test matches under Dhoni in 3 years (2008, 2009, 2010). I don't think Srinath was a peripheral player to his team while he was playing. If at all anyone is a peripheral player, it is Ishant. Srinath was a regular bowler unlike Ishant who is still to establish his place in the team or even squad for that matter. BTW, Sriniath didn't play until 2004. His last test match was in 2002 against West Indies (He announced his retirement on June 1st 2002). Don't call all readers as rubbish just because they disagree with you. I know it is hard not to generalise because it isn't easy for you to mention all the readers names whom you disagree with. But still, dude, chillax. I love your articles but I honestly thought your choice of Ishant was amusing.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    "If you were to pick a composite team across the three eras, who would be the men in contention?" - Now, which part of that sentence is not clear?

  • showstoppers on October 19, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    @ Dileep Premachandran: I think you have run out of ideas .. Maybe you should try some of the below. 1. Build a World team with only left hand bowler/batsmen. 2. Build a India team based purely only on overseas performance. 3. Build a India team with players who never played Tests for India though performed well at domestic level.

  • Shripathi on October 19, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    "It's just a team drawn from the three best Test sides that India have had"

    Except that you do not set the criteria by which you select a "best side"? Like how many tests/years are to be considered, or what constitutes a "team" -- three players the same? same captain? same opening bat and wicket-keeper?

    The 1980s team that beat Pakistan 2-0, tied with Australia 1-0, or the one that beat England 2-0 in England could all qualify.

    Wadekar's 71-73 team was good, great only because they did better than their pathetic predecessors. Beating a bowler-deficient WI in 71, being lucky in eeking out a 1-0 in 71 (rain helped them in the other two), and squashing a B-grade England in 1973 only 2-1 hardly qualifies them indisputedly as one of the three best sides. Nothing wrong with Kapil's/Gavaskar's teams in the mind eighties being picked as one of the three best either, and that's why you see Kapil being cited.

  • on October 19, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    How does Sourav Ganguly fit in the scheme of Test Matches.. He was successful as a captain but failed as a batsman...or even a bowler..(don't forget his ground fielding was ridiculous). Compare his stats with Dravid, Tendulkar or Laxman.. He is nowhere near them.. Laxman has been the crisis man.. Dravid, the Great wall of India.. and Sachin doesn't need any introduction... Sourav was just good enough for ODIs..

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on October 19, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    Ok fine. I understand the reason behind leaving out Kapil. But how the hell there can have Ishant instead of Srinath? Hope the author was trying to be funny. Very funny.

  • karthikfromchennai on October 19, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    the luxury of having the stats at fingertips makes the author to think of something that others cant...this kind of analysis is just rubbish....soon, someone will be picking up a eleven..one player from each decade....lol

  • on October 19, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Though I wud like to recommend MS Dhoni for the captaincy because he can manage some of the biggest egotists who have inevitably crept into this side.....Ganguly was a ruler......he could create new players but had problems with the existing ones,....Kumble doesnt take losses quite well....its okay to show shouting competitiveness on the ground as a player....but if your captain does so it puts extra pressure.....Dhoni is better on all that counts but he still has to go a long way....Having said that all three of them including Sachin have one of the brightest Cricketing Minds

  • CoolDeejay007 on October 19, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    What a joke? The Indian player of the century, Kapil Dev, is not in the list. Gavaskar, Kapil and Sachin should be in the first three on any list.

  • on October 19, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    seriously without reading the article thoroughly........guyz here have gone to a length of even 10-20 sentences............article was great......because it undermines the individualism of an ALL TIME XI......gud work dileep.........and lastly for those criticizing Ishant Sharma.....name me the replacement(and plz no srinath or kapil again, neither irfan pathan, coz he is crap....FACE IT!!!)...Irfan cant even perform in domestic matches Consistently.......plz dont criticize me now without reading my comments thoroughly

  • on October 19, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Restricting it just to these victorious sides, I would still like to have a few changes. Kumble and Chandra are exactly similar bowlers (not just leg-spin, but googly and faster one). I'd have Kumble for being a better team man and handy bat alongside Prasanna who is indeed India's best offspinner til date, by far.

    You need to decide who the captain would be. Given his superior record as captain and the fact that Ganguly cannot handle a team of stars as effectively, it has to be Dhoni. In that case, Ganguly does not deserve a position in the team just as a batsman. I'd have Vishwanath instead... he may not have peformed in those few tests, but remember, form is temporary, class permanent.

    Also, Ishant does not deserve a place among these stalwarts at all. Who would you get in? Kapil and Srinath, the other two Indian fast bowling greats are not from these era. I would instead have Abid Ali, the medium fast option with Zaheer. He could bat decently and extraordinary fielder.

  • keralapara on October 19, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Even one series or one era. Without KAPIL DEV's name in the Indian lineup is a BLASPHAMY.

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Given the constraints, the top six look fine. In the bottom half, we can have Kumble (leg-spin), Prasanna (off-spin), Bedi (slow left arm orthodox) and Zaheer Khan (medium pace). Gavaskar can be the makeshift opening bowler.

    And because we have such a long tail, we need to have Dhoni as wicketkeeper-batsman instead of Kirmani (Dhoni is OK as long as the team doesn't have Chandra).

  • on October 19, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    I would put Kapil Dev in place of Ishant Sharma.. No offence, but Ishant Sharma is yet to prove his ability in test cricket.. Missing Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu is a sad story..

  • upendradixit on October 19, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    How can we forget Eknath Solkar, without whom the victories in 1971-73 would be impossible? Solkar would replace Saurav Ganguly, Srinath would replace Ishant Sharma and good as though Chandra was, he and Kumble cannot be in the same team and one of them should be replaced by Bedi, Prasanna or Bhajji. My call would be: Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Solkar, Dhoni, Kumble, Bedi, Srinath, Zaheer

  • KAIRAVA on October 19, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Great Article. Job well done. Team Selection ..superb!!! I laugh at all the in here who talk about having Kapil, Viswanth, Azhar, Amarnath, Srinath in the XI, from chosen from the best performers of the 3 most successful eras of Indian Cricket i.e., Era 1:1971-1973; Era 2: 2001-2004; Era 3: 2007-2010. Yes, Vishwanth played in the 1st era but he was unable to cross his personal landmark of 1000 career runs (he made only 962 runs at an average of 37 from 1969 to 1973) even though he made his debut in 1969. Mohinder Amarnath played only one test in 1969 and then went on to play his next to seven years later, in 1976. Kapil Dev made his India debut only in 1978 while Azhar made his debut in 1985. So no question of having either one from the 1st era. Javagal Srinath has got a compelling case but had already got retired in 2002, 2 years before Ganguly's 4 years era ended. And during 2001-2002, Srinath picked up 51 wkts at an average of 32.4 which is slightly better than Ishant's avg of 35.8.

  • AsherCA on October 19, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    At the risk of impacting the batting somewhat, I would replace Ganguly with Solkar & have Dhoni captain. I remember reading comments from non-Indian batsmen along the lines of - they were scared of playing the ball in his direction, there was no guarantee in terms of what he would end up catching ! Also - with Chandra being the leggie of choice, I would replace Kumble with either Prasanna OR Harbhajan - more to add some variety into the bowling attack. Who gets picked would depend on whether the conditions required a little extra batting OR a more aggressive offie. Extra batting required, slot goes to Bhajji. More aggressive Off-spin, the slot goes to Prasanna.

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    @DileepPremachandran : It is YOUR responsibility to clearly state why the side is as it is. One look at the list and it is easy to anticipate that there would be numerous replies that go, "Where is Kapil Dev?".

    YOU should have anticipated that and dealt with it BEFORE posting your article. Instead, you baited all those responses only so that you can call them "rubbish".

  • montys_muse on October 19, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Inclusion of Ishant is just an indication of how bad our seam attack is at the moment!...India needs to sort out its bowling issues (and to an extent future batting issues) to remain at the top for long...

  • on October 19, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    Guys read the article before you get on high horses! Its about 3 successful periods thats all. Naturally if it was an all time best indian team kapil would be in before ishant. Ishant is just lucky he is playing in a successful team.

  • montys_muse on October 19, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    wow! excellent to see lax's stats after 2000...just goes to prove how badly he was used pre-2000...

  • on October 19, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    I would have kapil or srinath in instead of ishant

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Even if the side has to be limited to 1970-74, the Ganguly era and the Dhoni era (and therefore Kapil was excluded), the author's choices are still pretty bad. Looks like Ishant Sharma was included just to make the opening bowling pair with Zaheer. It doesn't have to be that way. We can have Zaheer and Gavaskar open the bowling instead! Or, choose Srinath instead of Ishant Sharma. After all, he made it to the ALL-TIME Indian XI, so why not this side?

    The choice of Kumble AND Chandra is not good either. Both are leg-spinners. Also, if you include Chandra, then Dhoni has to be replaced by Kirmani. Only Kiri could keep wickets to Chandra. Dhoni would be dropping catches and missing stumpings all day with Chandra as the bowler. Kumble + Bedi or Kumble + Prasanna or even Kumble + Harbhajan are possible alternatives.

  • on October 19, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    Inshant and not Kapil? Can Ishant even be on the field for 5 days? Kapil was there for about 20 years and was not dropped for fitness reasons ever. Hmmmm...do I need to say more? (Maybe). He was a solid lower order batsman (I think he averages in the 30s in tests - pretty impressive given the bowling he faced). Dileep, you sure know your cricket. I can keep adding to this, without talking about his bowling. He was one of the best atheletes of the game - a solid fielder (don't we need 11 of those - a much better fielder than Saurav, VVS, Kumble, Ishant, Zaheer - remember Dileep in a game of cricket you are fielding for about 80% of the time - a good fielder adds more value than a good batsman/bowler - did I ask if you know your cricket?). I have not even talked about his bowling - have I? Dileep - you gotta tell me how you've not included Kapil in your 11 and I thank god for the fact that you are not one of the selectors of the Indian team.

  • DileepPremachandran on October 19, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    I wish people would actually bother to read the article before spouting rubbish. How does Kapil Dev even come into the equation? Did he play in Wadekar's team? Or Ganguly's? And Srinath was a peripheral figure in Tests between Dec 2001 and April 2004. This is not an all-time Indian XI. It's just a team drawn from the three best Test sides that India have had. End of story.

  • omairhr on October 19, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    between the eras, Mr. Ramaswamy held the Indian XI together through his brilliant umpiring.

  • SPKay on October 19, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    I suspect the following two were penalized for not playing in a winning team. Beyond that logic, here are my substitutions:

    Kapil for Zaheer Srinath for Ishant

    By the same token, will Lara ever make it to the WI all time XI?

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    The funny thing is, Ishant Sharma, has difficulty getting into the CURRENT Indian side! And it is not even a strong bowling line-up, to put it mildly.

  • sudhindranath on October 19, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    @ravi_hari : No, it is not "gross injustice" to include Ishant Sharma and ignore Kapil Dev. It is SHEER STUPIDITY.

    So, the author thinks that India winning the World Cup 1983 under Kapil Dev and then the World Championship Cricket cup in 1985 in which Kapil played a leading role, was NOT really a very "successful period" for the Indian team??!!

  • on October 19, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Even if you leave Kapil because he was not a part of any of the three teams being discussed!! How can you ignore Srinath??

  • karthikfromchennai on October 19, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    stupid article...what are you trying to do selectig this team? why dont you try selecting from 1930-40, 1980-85 and 1995-2000...does it make sense at all? are you trying to convey that this would be best indian team of players who contributed to MORE wins? then this should be the best team than the all time indian eleven....

  • cricfanraj on October 19, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    WOWWW. We think Kapil is the best match winner but looking at stats he is not part of successful era. Hmm that tells the story. Cricket is a team game. However good an individual be, he seldom win a game on his own . Remaining 10 need to be contributed to win.

  • on October 19, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    Ishant Sharma.. ? Author is a genious. How about including Ravindra Jadeja and Dodda Ganesh in this 11 ?

  • Bamarolls on October 19, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Blasphemy of Indian Cricket. Without explicitly explaining why KAPIL DEV was not even mentioned in the article, he was ignored from the list. The article, should at once include corrected XI, or reasons for excluding the Wisden's Indian cricketer of the century/millenium. Dilip, how could you slip to such level of ignorance / callowness / naivete / uncouthness / empty-headedness / witlessness / know-nothingness / philitinism? Sorry, M-W thesaurus, pocket edition did not have additional syn to really express my feelings.

  • Kaze on October 19, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Put that side against Hayden, Simpson, Bradman, G Chappell, A Border, K Miller, A Gilchrist, R Lindwall, S Warne, D Lillee, G McGrath and watch them get thrashed.

  • KnightRiderX on October 19, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    having ishant is ridiculous, i would prefer srinath any day. Ishant is extremely mediocre IMO. No discipline. He wouldn't be half as famousif he hadn't troubled Punter at the WACA on India's last tour down under.

  • ravi_hari on October 19, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Interesting analysis. However, I think we all forget the foundation. If the 1970s team has given us the first series' of wins, the re-surrection of self-belief has started with World cup 1983 and World series 1985. These two victories triggered the penchant for more victories. In this era we have the famous win in England under Kapil, the clean sweeps at home under Azhar. This was also the era when Anil Kumble developed into a world class bowler. So, I feel it is gross injustice to include some one like Ishant and ignore Kapil. The absence of Bedi is also not in good taste. In batting, though Dravid has done well in one phase I think Axhar has been more effective and Ganguly doubled it up with aggressive captaincy. It is not possible to include all but some contributions should not be ignored. Hari Ravi

  • Rake1 on October 19, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Just wondering what happened to the cricinfo World XI. It was intially due to be announced on 12th Oct, then 18th & now not sure when. Perhaps the jury can't agree. My XI: Hobbs, Gavaskar, Bradman, V Richards, Tendulkar, Sobers, Gilchrist, Akram, Warne, Ambrose & McGrath.

  • Mahesh.R on October 19, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    The team is generally good, though it has some serious flaws. Ganguly has no place in the greatest Indian test XI. He was a great captain but since Dhoni is there, no need to include someone just for their captaincy skill. Kapil Dev will come in his place. Ishant Sharma will be replaced by Bedi though I hope Sharma will one day emerge as one of the greatest pacers in the world. But As of now, it is too early to give Sharma a place in the All Time XI.

  • NALINWIJ on October 19, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    India's success in the early 70's was a reflection of mediocrity elsewhere since south africa was banished and windies were rebuilding and australia failed to win a test for 3 years. Only meaningful comparison would be Indian players who started since 11/89 and those before then. RECENT XI- 1.SHEWAG 2.GAMBIR 3.DRAVID 4.TENDULKAR 5.LAXMAN 6.GANGULY 7.DHONI 8.HARBAJAN 9.KUMBLE 10.ZAHEER 11.SRINATH VERSUS PAST XI- 1.GAVASKAR 2.MERCHANT 3,VISVANATH 4.HAZARE 5.AMARNATH 6.MANKAD 7.KAPIL DEV 8.AMAR SINGH 9.NISSAR 10.PRASANNA 11.CHANDRASEKHAR. i WILL LET THE READER DECIDE WHICH IS THE BETTER SIDE.

  • Venkatb on October 19, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    A few years ago, the best Indian XI was considered to be the Indian team of the mid-80s - perhaps that was a token gesture. India's greatest weakness continues to be its bowling - India's "greats" such as Zaheer and Ishant average 35+ per wicket, while Kumble and Chandra are close to 30 - contrast that with McGrath, Murali, Marshall, Garner, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and many others who are genuine threats in this department. Our bowlers achieve "greatness" when opposition teams are in a rebuilding mode. Another good exercise would be to visualize a combined XI of Indian and Pakistani players and you can assemble greatness.

  • Sunrays on October 19, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    "...before things began to unravel in the autumn of 2004." - I don't understand this kind of misperception prevalent in the print media and general public with regard to the Dravid-Chappell era.

    Sure - the players weren't happy with this time, certainly they were horrible failures at man management, and it could be debated they played a role in poor performances of players.

    But results-wise "nothing unraveled" under Dravid. His one-day win-loss ratio and win percentage is superior to Ganguly's (and better if you remove minnows from the equation"). In tests, at first glance his record seems inferior, but remove the minnows from the equation and again he comes out on top on both measures (with series wins in England, WI and a first ever test win in SA - of 25 tests as captain he was mostly out of India).

    I hope the perception of Dravid being a poor leader, at least results-wise, is corrected before long. It is just not natural justice.

  • mayur07301 on October 19, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    is dhoni or sourav the best captain that india has had over the years?well, stats might favour them but stats are of no use in this case.India won the inaugural t20 world cup & didn't even make it to the semis in the next 2.We had almost the same team in all 3 t20 world cups.So,Was there such an enormous difference in dhoni's captaincy?No, it was just that we played some good cricket in 2007 & some rubbish in 2009 & 10.Captaincy plays a minor role in the outcome of the match.I don't think it would have made any difference if sehwag had been the captain of the team instead of dhoni.cheers to dehwag!

  • Razor88 on October 19, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    Wow!!....wonderful articles with wonderful numbers..... 15 wins and only 5 losses out of almost 30... no wonder they are on top lol..... I really hope it is not a short stint like the 70's or Dada's era..... All the best Team India

  • on October 19, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    DADA IS INDIA'S BEST CAPTAIN. IT IS ONE OF THOSE RARE ARTICLES THAT POINT OUT THE REASONS WHY HE IS THE BEST.

    DADA'S TEAM AND DHONI'S TEAM IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT. DHONI IS GETTING UNDUE APPLAUSE

  • tmartis on October 19, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Ganguly as captain, I would have thought that no one would be saying such things again. Ganguly will surely go down as a great batsmen for India, but he simply is a step below Dhoni as captain. Correct me if I am wrong but Dhoni's record is better than Ganguly's and is still going strong in all formats and with consistency. Dhoni as captain!!.

  • Meety on October 19, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    I think most people questioning Kapil Dev's non-inclusion are missing the point - this side is limited to 1970-74, the Ganguly years & now. Kapil was not in any of those sides.

  • ultrasnow on October 19, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Individual talent adds up to nothing. That has been the story of Indian cricket before the Gangu-Dhoni eras. Earlier Indian cricket was was always afflicted by camps and regionalism. Gangu-Dhoni changed all that and made them play as a single unit. So put any 10 players under the name Gangu and now Dhoni and you have the best 11 Gangu-Dhoni for life. Two of the best. Stats count for nothing.

  • on October 19, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Agree with most of the names except 3 of them. Ishant will not find a place. Kapil Dev instead of him , will add to the batting might too ! Secondly, Saurav Ganguly will not find a place in the test side, despite his captaincy record. Dilip Vengsarkar or Mohinder Amarnath would have been a better choice. I also feel that it would be a tie between Zaheer & Srinath for the 2nd fast bowler position.

  • arghya11 on October 19, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    Over all good article, but I would love to see few changes in the XI - 1) Kapil Dev - the man who had the arms of fire, he MUST be in the XI at any cost. Ishant Sharma is too young to prove himself. 2) Javagal Srinath - He was the prime fast bowler in Indian cricket scene after Kapil retd and Zaheer was just coming around. He was the warhorse for Ganguly. 3) If only Wicket keeping is discussed the I would like to see Kirmani rather than Dhoni. But Dhoni's batting is better than Kirmani ,so it depends. 4) Though Bhajji's inclusion makes sense but I would still favor Chadrashekhar Over and above - to all Sourav Haters - One simple question to you all - "Before Sourav Ganguly took the command of the team, did the team had that 'fighting spirit'or did the team had that 'hunger', Passion, Fight to win? Over all my team would be - 1) Gavaskar 2) Shewag 3) Dravid 4) Tendulkar 5) Ganguly (Capt) 6) Laxman 7) Kapil Dev 9) Kirmani/Dhoni 8)Kumble 9) Chadrashekhar 10) Zaheer 11) Javagal Srin

  • on October 19, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    How about early 1990s when India were unbeatable at home until they lost against SAfrica under Ganguly. With Wadekar as coach and Azhar as captain this XI will give other era run for their money: 1.Sidhu 2.Prabhakar 3.Kambli 4.Azhar 5.Tendulkar 6. Manjrekar 7.Kapil 8.mongia 9.kumble 10.raju 11.chauhan

  • on October 19, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Well it would had been really touch for you to leave out Kapil Paa ji. Also I feel we are still one bowler short. So my team would be Kapil Paaji, instead of Ishant Sharma, and Jimmy Amarnath/Bishen Singh Bedi(depending upon pitch condition. Plus Jimmy was a solid allrounder) for Sourav Gangulay. But wait DADA is our captain(No doubt he was one of the best), but my choices for captain would be 1. Anil Kumble : For showing the world, the fiercest of game could be played with utmost dignity. 2. Dhoni : For being captain cool and come on look at his record as captain. He is the most successful captain of India

  • on October 19, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Great job Dileep. A novel idea. For all going Gaga over Kapil Dev and Srinath should be total craps. Do they understand English or what? This is Indian XI of 3 successful era. Unfortunately Kapil was never a part of such team. So was Srinath except for a year. So no Kapil or Srinath. Yeah this team does not have Vinoo Mankad too but does that mean he is not great? Really fans of Cricinfo need to improve their English understanding. My only opinion ld be someone else for Ish? Pathan was part of successful tours in 04-05. So maybe he comes in but that ld make monotonous attack with two left armers. Else this is perfect choice.

  • jaideep_g10 on October 19, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Nice one though I would like to make just a few changes. First Sourav Ganguly wouldn't be a straight pick for me specially seeing his Away record though I would love to have him as the off field captain if possible :P . I would rather have one of our stawlarts Gundappa Vishwanath or Vengsarkar or even the tainted Azhar in that position.

    In the bowling department again I would go for more variety rather than purely relying on stats. Instead of playing both Chandra and Kumble who were similar type of bolwers in pace,attackign style I would go for Bedi over one of them as even though Chandra picked a lot of wickets at a better strike rate compared to Bedi he often bore fruit of Bedi's discplined bowling at the other end. (And am in no way undermining Chandra's efforts just making a point of having some more variety.)

  • akhileshXI on October 19, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Surprised not to see Srinath on the list.

  • mayur07301 on October 19, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    i am not too sure about ishant but one thing i am pretty sure about is that ganguly can NEVER make it to any indian xi.Forget about indian xi, he doesn't even deserve a place in bengal xi.After that Nantie hayward delivery which hit him on his face on that SA tour,he lost confidence in his abilities.His last 3 years in the indian team did more harm than good to the team.Just that he was the captain & had good relations with Jagmohan dalmiya ensured his place in the team.He is a tiger only in bengal, outside that he is just an average cricketer.As far his capraincy is concerned,it was not as great as it is exaggerated by his supporters.His predecessors didn't have the services of sehwag,yuvraj,zaheer,& to a certain extent laxman.It would have been interesting to see what he would have done without these players.I always hoped that he gets out early,coz once he got to 90,he simply took another 20 balls to get to his 100.His fielding& running between the wickets was pathetic.SORRY DADA!

  • Capitalist_Cricketer on October 19, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Dont think we can come up with a perfect list as its horses for courses..Sehwag Gavaskar Dravid Tendulkar Laxman/ Vishwanath ? Ganguly Dhoni Kumble Zaheer Khan Kapil Dev Chandrashekhar/ E prasanna ?

  • nvpar on October 19, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    As it seems there is no stopping for these Dream XIs, I suggest the following for your consideration: Eden Garden XI, Summer XI, Sunday XI, Right-handed batsmen and Left-handed bowlers XI, and vice versa. We have endless possibilities that we can work on.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 19, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Saurav Ganguly in the India 11? You must be joking! May be in the West Bengal 11! My 11 of players in their prime: Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Sachin, Azhar, Dhoni (wk/cap), Kapil, Kumble, Bhajji, Zaheer, Chandra.

  • on October 19, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Who else can lead a team of such an Successful Aura other than the man who himself created the Aura..anyone who has followed the IND cricket for last 10 years or so knows the platform and struture set by Sourav and Wright is one of the major reasons of IND's success.. then again, struture itself isnt the only thing required to win matches you need tremendous ammout of self belief and petiveness .. and sourav ceratinly injected all those ingredients with a fearless attitude..he brought forward the competiveness with the sense of great proud among the youngsters who were and really proud of their identity..thats the new india we often talk about of should be correctly say SOURAV"S INDIA.SOURAV has been a figure who encouraged all the players to perform beyond their Potential and thats what has made INDIA the team they are..NO one else deserves to lead the team of successful aura than SOURAV..ind cricket and their numero uno status will be indebit to sourav's services and always will be

  • sweetspot on October 19, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    No Kapil? COME ON! It is one thing to have an embarrassment of riches, and we certainly have that here, but it is entirely another matter to leave out the best of the best. Kapil will find himself in ANY Indian team I would pick as long as his era is included. No greater matchwinner. No greater uplifter of that winning spirit.

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Wondering why Kapil Dev is not there .......................

  • KG22 on October 19, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Dude... what about Kapil Dev? Did he commit some serious crime that he wasn't even mentioned in this article? Its amazing to see Ishant Sharma getting picked ahead of someone like Kapil Dev or even Jawagal Srinath for that matter.

  • MADDY_INURHEART on October 19, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    where is Kapil Dev by the way and what the hell Ishant Sharma is doing in a cricket 11........... but I'll give it to Dileep ji because I dont want anybody to mess with me when I announce My own 11(could be any day now onwards!!)

  • Tigg on October 19, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Sharma in the side? You've got to be kidding me. Javagal Srinath would play over him any day. Better record and, if this is a composite team, played in an earlier era.

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    its really surprising that india's greatest all rounder Kapil dev hasnt found a place in the xi.I would replace ganguly with him and make Dhoni captain of the team.Now its a well balanced team with a potent bowling attack n a very strng batting line up.

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    sourav doesnt deserve a place as either batsman or captain. as captain he had the best team resources both batting and bowling and could arguably have made better use of these resources. dhoni should captain this side- he has also had a good team and seems to be using the better. sourav should be replaced by either vishy or sardesai. if we can go beyond the scope of your article then kapil will take this spot. its hard to play both anil and chandru in the same team. i'd go with anil since he played over a longer period and got 600 wickets. bring bedi or prasanna in for chandru. how about srinath for ishanth?

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    nice article... i understand the non-inclusion of kapil dev, as many would point out, due to the restricted period of choice for players. however, as for the final XI i would only make one change and that would be irfan pathan instead of ishant sharma. i would choose him instead of ishant sharma as he was far more instrumental to india's success than ishant has been in their respective periods of consideration. especially irfan pathan, although no. of matches he played are relatively fewer than ishant has played, his batting was also a boon..

  • tough_cool on October 19, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    Its perhaps the season of fancy teams with fancy reasons, every writer is coming up with one, while some selections by some writers are debatable and even if you are open for debate I really cant fathom your selection of Ishant sharma here or for that matter in any all time list like this and overlooking a few players like Javagal srinath, people's memory is too short but is that an excuse for such an outrageous selection. Agreed we all are overwhelmed with what Ishant did in Mohali test but does he deserve this selection for that.

    Several times when I read on cricinfo, I see many people pick their fancy teams with their own fancy reasons. while its noteworthy that all people have their own choices but a team selected by a seasoned writer on a very popular website must at least be able to pass an initial visual scrutiny test otherwise what is the difference between people who write articles and those who write comments like me. This article could as well have been a mere comment

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    Ishant Sharma??? Are you kidding me? What about Irfan Pathan? The hero of Pakistan series.. The real world class opening bowler for Ganguly. 29 tests, 100 wickets, 7 five-wicket hauls in innings, two 10-wicket hauls in match.. Strike rate of 58. A hat-trick. 1 hundred, 6 fifties, batting average of 31.5.

  • chandish on October 19, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    I like the list, BUT...I'm sure MOST indian cricket fans will agree you have made a glaring omission and a glaring inclusion!! Easy fix. How about Kapil Dev instead of Ishant. I think Ishant is a terrific bowler, but cmon....leaving out Kapil as India's greatest all rounder? I don't think this qualifies as a debate ;)

  • boltfromheaven on October 19, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    I am not sure about Ganguly. Wadekar, in my humble opinion, would have made a better captain.

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    An India to Reckon with cnt go without a mention of SOURAV GANGULY... its not the talent that wins the matches..you have to have great deal of self belief..and GAnGULY has given the team belief to win against anyone ,anywhere.

    its all nice and dandy to say Dhoni has had the success , but the platform hasbeen set by Sourav,by injecting the killing instinct and belief they have now..

    talent and fearlessness on the cricket field have been the key ingredients of indian success in recent years and also giving the INDIAN cricket ample match winners..

    take out the people SOURAV backed time and again Virender Sehwag,VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni , Anil Kumble. Zaheer Khan,harbhajan singh, yuvraj singh and imagine IND winning matches without these guys.. Sourav deserves all the credit for INDIA"S wins and its great to see the hard work has put through is giving rich results..

    LOG LIVE DADA,dsnt matter what record may say but u r the catalyst for ind's grand success..

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    i prefer J. shrinath instead of ishant sharma.

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    All well, but Ishant? He has been considered as the best option for the second fast bowler? Over and bove the legendary Kapil Dev, the first genuine fast bowler of India and a true fighter. I am afraid, Mr Dileep has drawn too hasty conclusions in the hurry of probably finalising the story at the earliest.

    yes, let the debate begin.

  • YRB11 on October 19, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Openers are straight forward, and so is the wicketkeeper. For the middle Order, Mohinder Amarnath can be debateable. Spinners, can go with the two selected. But for the pacers, ANYDAY Kapi Dev should be preferred over Ishant Sharma.

    Totally disagree Ishant's selection. I guess, he would not feature even in Ishant's All Time 11 for India. :P :P

  • on October 19, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    I would suggest a change in spin department. To add more variety, I will prefer Harbhajan (2001-2004) over one of the leggies. Though Kumble has been more consistent but Chnadra at his best was unplayable so I will prefer Chandra

  • akshayxyz on October 19, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    Ishant Sharma in place of Kapil dev!!!!!!

  • BIG_BOSS on October 19, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    A good article to make one of the best Indian Teams but frankly Ishant Sharma can never be as good as Javagal Srinath or Kapil dev. It is a shame not to include these spear head fast bowlers and insane to include a novice like Ishant. I reckon he needs another 5-6 years of experience before he can even be considered into being in India's best XI.

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    Dada would anyday feature in my all time 11s team!! As a captain, he is simply unstoppable.

  • Rambo008 on October 19, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    Ishant Sharma ahead of Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath - really?

  • vrghosh on October 19, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    Amazing to see our Kapil Dev not in ur list... plz correct it...n plz join me on Facebook's Cricket India group for my final 11...... 1. Virender Sehwag, 2. Sunil Gavaskar, 3. Rahul Dravid , 4. Sachin Tendulkar , 5. VVS Laxman, 6. Sourav Ganguly (capt), 7. MS Dhoni (wk), 8. Kapil Dev, 9. Anil Kumble, 10. Zaheer Khan, 11. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar. :)

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Dilip, I would rather have Dhoni doing the captaincy with the same team. Sourav Ganguly's contribution as captain would remain always valuable, but he has had poor runs as a batsman when he was a captain. He averages 37.66 as a captain and above 45 as non-captain. One of his best batting forms were also under Kumble and Dhoni. Dhoni is far more cool (Ganguly is animated) too, which helps him take better decisions in crunch times. They lost the last 10 tosses but won 7 of those tests, doesn't it indicate something?

  • mageleven on October 19, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Dileep: How could you forget Kapil Dev??? Ishant Sharma in the team is a disgrace

  • talktosri on October 19, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Ishan Sharma over Kapil Dev at his prime???

  • Kapildev25 on October 19, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Dear how can you left the legendry cricketer like Kapil Dev & Jvagal Srinath. is Ishant is better than those two great icon of indian Pace attack for the History....One was highest wicket taker in the word for so long time but in you whole pharase you hav'nt mention his name only a single time and the other one who was the master of accuracy

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    interesting choice most striking thing is no kapil dev perhaps never had the fortune to play in good test team

  • cricconnossieur on October 19, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    If you cannot fit in Kapil Dev , you should atleast include Irfan Pathan-he had considerable success under Ganguly ! And what is Ganguly doing when you have a more successful captain in MS Dhoni ?

  • amit1807kuwait on October 19, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    It is a shame that Kapil Dev does not find a mention here. Admittedly he was not part of the eras being discussed, but no Indian team which has to comprise of greats of different eras can be complete without Kapil, whose place in the Indian cricket pantheon has to be at par with Sachin and Sunny.

  • Rishabh on October 19, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    You didn't say anything about Ishant in your article, and then suddenly he's in your favourite side. I'd like to hear your reasons for that, even if it is, "who else?"

  • tiger9999 on October 19, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Helllloooo! ishant sharma over THE GREAT KAPIL DEV... due respect to yound sharma but you have chosen Gangu Teli over Raja Bhoj....

  • ElZoZo on October 19, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    Sooo, you've picked a team from your 3 BEST eras and the best you could do in terms of a 2nd fast bowler is a guy who has got his wickets at an average of 37.40 (latest stats). Say what you will about your batting line up which is pretty impressive but sorry to say your pace bowling stocks are,were and will always be weak

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    huh! what about Kapil Dev? I would replace Ishant (with all due respect) with Kapil

  • sramesh_74 on October 19, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Ishanth ahead of Kapil and Srinath??? Am I reading it right???

  • ramesh.mesh on October 19, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    seriously ishanth sharma ?!?!? U gotta be kidding !!! Atleast not based on wat hes been offerin oflate with the ball( but for few spells here n der !!!).!!!

  • The-Robot on October 19, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    saurav the don of indian cricket... always rocks...

  • UltimateCricExpert on October 19, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Ishant cannot even walk into regular Indian Sqaud and you have selected in your XI. Replace him with Srinath then the team will be looking really good

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    Think Srinath is a better pick than Ishant.

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    While the team you selected might be perfect in reputation- but if u go by statistics- u have to select Gambhir- who has averaged more then Gavaskar & Sehwag... Also-Ganguly's average of 44.08- dnt think he deserves to be in XI based on dat... make no mistake, personally wil go wid sunny n sehwag n luv ganguly- but purely based on stats-as u r doing- u have to be objective n select better batsman.

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Kapil Dev doesn't find a place in the Indian XI??? Not sure about the author's perceptions, but the man would make it to any World XI on pure numbers alone.

  • screamingeagle on October 19, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Is it just me, or am I not seeing Kapil in there?!

  • 11Noobs on October 19, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    As far as India being where they are right now, it's due to Tendulkar, Ganguly, Kumble, Laxman and Dravid with some good performances from Bhajjii and Sehwag. I'm only talking about the period from 2001- 2007 where India won some tours abroad. Ganguly was lucky he had the fab 5 (including himself) and Dhoni is lucky he still has three of them. As far as the Ganguly-Wright side went, Dravid averaged 103 in matches India won under Ganguly's captaincy, enough said.

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    Definitely not Ishant sharma over Kapil Dev or Javagal Srinath who was at the peak during saurav's 2001 timeframe ...

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    writer, where is kapil dev in this list...wasnt he a torch bearer in any of the eras...u probably would not have a zaheer or an ishant today, if not for kapil...ishant still has to prove himself, while a proven guy like srinath has been left out...any all time list is debatable, and i think this post is far more debatable when cricinfo is already on a project to chose the best XI for all teams...

  • on October 19, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KAPIL DEV? Did you think he is playing for Apkistan or Australia? Ishant Sharma over Kapil Dev? retardest of selections I have seen till date

  • mits6 on October 19, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    He ...he ...he ,ishant sharma , but no Kapil dev ?............u have obviously invited the debate gavaskar, kapil & sachin no indian test XI without them

  • Mukrim on October 19, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    Hi Dileep,

    Your selection is definitely debatable & contentious as far as at least bowlers . I believe almost everyone in the cricketing fraternity both players ex & current as well lovers & followers of the game would accept with me. You missed out one Mr.Nikhanj who would arguably walk into a world XI let alone an Indian XI + Srinath in his prime is head & shoulders above a fit & prime Ishant any day, who is holding his place in the team by the skin of his teeth.

    Mukrim

  • Victorian-Roo on October 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Kapil Dev would be a better option than Ishant Sharma any day.....Kapil never let the tail wag and could swing the ball in all conditions. Also, I'd prefer MSD to captain the side than Ganguly. Dhoni has that X-factor that is a must for a captain, apart from luck. Also, Dhoni takes much better decisions than Ganguly (although some of MSD's decisions also s**k at times). But overall MSD is a better prospect when it comes to captaincy. These are the only two changes I'd like to make.

  • crazysloggers on October 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    ishant sharma??? why is he in this list?

  • sivadubai on October 19, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    Gavaskar will be the best choice for the Captain. There can be no comparison the way he carried out and for his temparament and the diplomacy. Not withstanding the fact that the controversies that dogged during his captaincy days (which we should consider as non issue), Sunny should be the captain for this wonderful Team. By the way, why there is no mention about Venkatraghavan in the analysis.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Superb ! Dada as a captain was awesome!

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    i am bit surprised to ishant instead Srinath he has 236 wickets at 30.49 , ishant has long way to go.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Are you serious? Ishant Sharma over Javagal Srinath? You're kidding me, right?

  • Farce-Follower on October 19, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma : Just how did they sneak in...so that the competition can have atleast three fluffed chances and 10 no-balls every match?

  • srijj on October 19, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    I pity author's (lack of) knowledge of Indian cricket. Doesn't he know a LION called Kapil Dev ?

  • sbansban on October 19, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    Virender Sehwag, 2. Sunil Gavaskar, 3. Rahul Dravid (2001-04), 4. Sachin Tendulkar (2008-10), 5. VVS Laxman, 6. MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7. Anil Kumble, 8. Zaheer Khan, 9. EAS Prasanna, 10. Javagal Srinath 11. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar.

  • Apache_Indian on October 19, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    First of all, what happened to that World-XI which cricinfo had to pick till October 13 or so ?

  • anikbrad on October 19, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    I WANT TO SEE AVG AND WKT OF SRINATH IN GANGULYS ERA I HOPE ITS BETTER THAN ISHANT AND HE CAN BE REPLACED BY SRINATH. AND THE DIFFERECE WITH ALL INDIAN ERAS WAS THIS MIDDLE ORDER WHICH REFUSES TO CRUMBLE EVEN AT DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. THE DIFFERNECE IN GANGULYS ERA, DRAVID-KUMBLE ERA AND NOW THE DHONI ERA WAS FAV FOUR WAS THERE ALWAY UNTIL LAST YEAR AND A HALF WHEN GANGULY WAS REPLACE BY EITHER YUV OR RAINA STILL NOT A HUGE ASSET. THIS FAV FOUR WAS HONESTLY THE BEST BATTING LINE UP OF INDIA, LET ALONE WITH SHEWAG- GABHIR IN FORTE WITH FAV FOUR AND DHONI IS PROBABLY THE BEST EVER BATTING LINE UP, YES I AM ALSO INCLUDING BRADMAN INVINSIBLES, THE STEVE WAGH TEAM, THE LOYED WI, OR THE HAMMOND, HOBS, SUTCLIFF ERA, ONLY THEY FARED BETTER BECOUSE OF BETTER BOWLERS IN THIER TEAM BUT IF YOU ONLY JUDGE BATTING THIS 7 IS THE MOST AWSOME BATTING LINE UP. IN BOWLING BEST EVER ERA HAS 3 CONTENDERS, THE GAR/MAR/HORLD/ANDY OR THE WAR/MCGRA/LEE/GILLES OR THE ORAILY/LIND/MILLER ERA. ANY CONROVERSY?

  • natasrik on October 19, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    What a team without Kapil Dev, what are you talking. Secondly absolutely no need for Ganguly in the XI, when we have greats like Vishy,Azhar, Mohinder, Dilip Veng during this period. Ganguly as a captain, defintely he does not need that respect when we have so many other guys who are superior than him in the squad. When I say superior, it is performance that counts. Rest of the squad automatic choice. The only way I can count Ganguly in the squad, is to bring in a left hander for some variation in the batting order, probably I will include him if we select a 15 member squad. Debate can continue with the selection of Chandra and Kumble also, both being similar kind of bowler, so for variation we should have Prasanna in the squad.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    I find it very hard to accept Ganguly in this team. Other than the fact that he had led the best performing non-controversial set of people (rahul, sachin, laxman, kumble etc.), who never required to be led but kept winning games for India, there was nothing of note from him. Ganguly had not even contributed either runs or even strategies to the team win unlike Wadekar. Dhoni to be the captain and Wicket keeper for this team and Dilip Sardesai to replace Ganguly will make this team well and truly capable of winning in all conditions. And if one were to consider a genuine match winner who has been left out for the fact he did not play for the three considered teams is Kapil dev. So probably replacing Ishanth sharma with Kapil Dev would make this team an all time best eleven for India. :-)

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    I don't happen to see Kapil Dev's name featuring in the line-up which according to me cannot be justified..No Indian XI is complete without kapil Dev, India only All-Rounder...

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on October 19, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    Gundappa just has to be there. Not includinig this serial match-winner in the India AT XI is a historical injustice. Its not his fault that his match-winning innings came when they weren't in the middle of an 'era'. None of the above XI can play anything close to that 97* in Chepauk, including Sachin and Sehwag. That man made batting look much easier than even Sehwag. Pick Gundappa in place of Ganguly, Prasanna in place of Sharma. I understand that Sharma has been picked to preserve some balance in the attack...i say screw it. Pras will get you more wickets than Sharma anyway.

  • Arun14 on October 19, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Following up on my last post, I'd include some key players from the 85-86 team. Here's my team - 1. Sehwag, 2. Gavaskar, 3. Dravid, 4. Tendulkar. 5. Vengsarkar, 6. Kapil Dev, 7. Dhoni wk/capt), 8. Kumble, 9. Zaheer Khan, 10. Chetan Sharma, 11. Chandrashekar.

    Chetan Sharma, to refresh your memory, could bat as well. Now he took only 61 wkts at 35 apiece which is comparable to Ishant's. However, he has his name on the honour's board at Lord's for his bowling.

  • anky19 on October 19, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    ISHANT SHARMA OVER KAPIL DEV?

  • IndiaGoats on October 19, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    I present a more data-driven solution taken from data of all matches India has won (not just from some specific era) :

    Batsmen - runs Tendulkar (5393), Dravid (4557), Laxman (3017), Sehwag (2922), Ganguly (2284), Gavaskar (1671)

    Batsmen - average (min 1000 runs) Sidhu (69.35), Tendulkar (69.14), Dravid (65.10), Sehwag (58.44), Azhar (55.48), Laxman (54.85)

    Bowlers - wickets Kumble (288), Harbhajan (203), Zaheer (137), Chandra (98)

    Bowlers - average (min 50 wickets) Prasanna (17.61), Bedi (17.65), Kapil (18.30), Kumble (18.75)

    Bowlers - strike rate (min 50 wickets) Pathan (39.0), Kumble (44.4), Kapil (45.2), Chandra (45.4)

    Wicketkeeper - dismissals (as well as dismissals/innings) Dhoni

    Captains Dhoni - .77 Bedi - .77 Ganguly - .69

    Team: Sehwag, Gavaskar (need an opener), Dravid, Tendulkar, Azhar, Laxman, Dhoni (c), Kapil, Kumble, Zaheer (need 2 pacers), Chandra

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    THe fact that sharma makes this list highlights India's poor quality of pacers in their history.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    How to leave a great all rounder KAPILDEV ....whether he was not a legend????

  • sbansban on October 19, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Ishant? Dileep, did you just plain forget Srinath or am I missing something here?

  • Abubvs on October 19, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Nice One Dileep...but,personally i feel that Kapil Dev should have been included in the place of Ishant Sharma,and maybe Srinath as the 12th man.Otherwise it is a terrific team

  • RAshutoshT on October 19, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Best possible team... but choosing ishant over srinath, kapil or venkatesh is debatable... they were the best ones in the business for India before the current crop of fast bowlers... and even in the current crop only Zaheer has performed better than them...

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    This team does not have Kapil Dev in it - as India's first real fast bowler and one of our two greatest all rounders, I think he HAS to be in the team. An all time India XI without Kapil Dev in it? You must be kidding!

  • Arun14 on October 19, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    The Indian side of the mid 80s under Kapil and Sunny was quite good too. This team won an away series in England in 86 with Chetan Sharma, Binny and Madan Lal's swing and the batting of the Colonel. The same team did creditably at home against a formidable Sri Lankan side under Duleep Mendis. They almost won a series in Australia - in the Melbourne test when Srikant fell the rest of our famed batting lineup didn't have the spine to chase down a meager target at 5 an over. Rain robbed us of a win at Sydney. That team was pretty formidable.

    You seem to have forgotten a chunk of Indian cricket history which is quite remarkable. It's possible that because this period came after many limited overs successes, it has been forgotten. Also, what's up with leaving out Kapil from your XI?? You think a guy that bowled 5 noballs all his test career can be replaced with a greenhorn like Ishant Sharma who's only claim to fame is that one over against Ponting?? Give me a break.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    You purposefully left out kapil Dev didnt you? so you could have more people whine on this blog!

  • Chetzz on October 19, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    Srinath for Ishant and the rest looks good.....

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    What????????? No Ravindra Jadeja???? I'm boycotting your column!

  • michalite on October 19, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    wait .. where did Kapil Dev go?

  • Shripathi on October 19, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    What three eras, when you exclude Gavaskar's teams of the 80s? The one which beat Pak in India, and the one that routed England in 1986, and managed to stay even with no bowling beyond Kapil?

    Given that, it'd be

    Gavaskar, Sehwag, Mohinder Amarnath, Tendulkar, Dravid, Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev, Kirmani, Kumble, Zaheer and Chandrasekhar

  • abahukhandi on October 19, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Beat that and they'd only bat once!

  • Vivek.Bhandari on October 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Why no Kapil Dev in the eleven? I thought his best was in the 80s if you are not considering his full-career...

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Well, I've a slight couple of changes, M. Azharuddin in place of Dravid to add some excitement as well as tallent rather than going just for slow rate scoring and in place of Ishant I'll add Irfan Pathan the most valuable Hat-Trick tacker with an exciting All Rounder Talent. Now That's look quite impressive.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Everything else is fine, but Ishant Sharma over Kapil Dev? Dude, that's harsh.

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    Dude...you have to be very naive when you only want to consider Sachin Tendulkar of 2008-2010. I mean what the hell? Besides the fact that you speak of Sachin in terms like he was hardly a failure, get a life dude!

  • Sameer-hbk on October 19, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    i suppose those 3 are indeed the 3 best test teams India has ever produced. Just take out Ishant and Ganguly, Put in Srinath and Kapil dev and you have arguably the best Indian Test XI of all time.

    Still it show how poor our new ball attack is when the 3 best we can muster out of teams that have done best in test cricket for India is Ishant Sharma... In a way, Pathetic

  • Rydham on October 19, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Very good artical !!Unlike the crickinfo All time India XI, here we can see Ganguly in the team. Here again he is the lone left hander in the team and every body knows teh importance of left hander batsman in the team of right handers. Moreover he is the supreme captain, no doubt and a fighter !! His bating stats is enough to accomodate him in the Indian XI - Middle order. Entry of Ishant is odd ... It is surprise why Shreenath or Venkatesh Prasad were not being thought ??

  • on October 19, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Dileep,

    Where is Kapil Dev? Are you kidding me...Indian team without Kapil...Common he is the Indian cricketer of the century

  • bat_bowl_field on October 19, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    The team looks good, except for Ishant Sharma. Wasn't there any other successful pace bowler during those eras? Sharma has only had one good series and thats it. Such a wasted talent, would be nice to see him bowl fast again.

  • manasvi_lingam on October 19, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Nice team Dileep! This is better than the all-time India XI except for two changes. I would have Kapil for Ganguly and Prasanna for Ishant. Ishant has been pretty ordinary ever since his breakthrough year. As you yourself demonstrated, Prasanna and Bedi finished with much better stats. And both Kumble and Chandra are fast leggies and need an orthodox off-spinner. I would go for Bhajji (2001-04) or Prasanna. And Kapil should be there in place of Ganguly since he was a great player.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    sick and tired of all the XIs !!

  • santoshjohnsamuel on October 19, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Kapil missing -- that's the only debate.

  • DarthKetan on October 19, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    Given the criteria, its understandable Kapil does not make it. However, Ishant being in this XI sure is odd. Rather should have had 3 spinners - Bedi perhaps. This would be an intersting exercise for Australia and WI as well.

  • CricketCaptain123 on October 19, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    How could there be an Indian XI without Kapil Dev?? Won't he come ahead of Sourav or Ishant ??

  • ahse.rmn on October 19, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    If not bounded by 3-era limitation ....replace Dada with Kapil Dev & make MSD the captain...

  • Catch2020 on October 19, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    There are three major flaws in your team and one minor one: 1) You have left out Kapil Dev.That is a bizarre omission for any self-respecting all-time Indian team. I would replace Ganguly with Kapil 2) You have two fast leg spinners in your side. Chandra was probably the better of the two; but Kumble is invaluable for his indomitable spirit. I would not just pick Kumble, but possibly make him captain (Dhoni is the other option). That gives me a free slot for another spinner, which would be a toss-up between Bedi and Prasanna 3) Good as is he is, I cannot see Ishant (or even Zaheer) beating out Javagal Srinath 4) SRT may have scored thousands of runs this decade, but he has also struggled to save matches. I would pass on the 2008-2010 SRT in favor of that plucky kid from 1990-1994 who had the courage and the confidence to play lone hands for India - and doing so by dominating bowlers even in bowler friendly conditions like a turning track in Manchestor or the bouncy wickets of Perth

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    ISHANT SHARMA DOESNT EVEN QUALIFY IN ANY ERA. HIS ERA HAS NOT YET STARTED.

  • N.Sundararajan on October 19, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Cannot understand how Kapil Dev is left out ! And if Sourav is the captain, then definitely Kirmani was a better keeper than Dhoni !And, to include Ishant Sharma in this list is atrocious !

    Come on Dileep, you can do better than this!

  • himanshu.team on October 19, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    You have very conviniently forgotten one hero who shuold figure in all of India's XIs 'Kapil Dev'. How can you think of Ishant Sharma (or even Zaheer) before Kapil? Also I feel Gautam Gambhir and Vishvanath should be in. Who will they replace is another question, but lets say if we are picking a squad of 15 they are in. Ishant still should not find a place, and should be replaced by Bishan Singh Bedi or Bhajji. If one more pacer is needed it should be J Srinath. So 10 of the above + Gambhir, Bedi/Bhajji, Vishvanth, Srinath and Kapil Dev

  • Alexk400 on October 19, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Are you crazy to leave out kapil dev? or just dumb?.

  • Satwa_desi on October 19, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    I'd pick Kapil Dev in place of Ishant Sharma...

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Ishant Sharma ahead of Kapil Dev, you mean?

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Ishant Sharma ahead of Kapil Dev, you mean?

  • PRS2010 on October 19, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Largely very acceptable. But how about the foll:: Sehwag Gavaskar Dravid Sachin Vengsarkar Laxman Dhoni Kapil Dev Kumble Zaheer B Chandrasekhar

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    The side is definitely the most formidable that one could pick. I am glad that Chandra is given recognition over other spinners of the quartet. He in my opinion was the best. Sunny shd be regarded as the best ever opener in the world of cricket for all time to come because being from India he had to face the fastest an...d fiercest from all countries except SA who were in the dog house then....luckily for their fast bowlers, i guess.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    What! An Indian XI without Kapil Dev?

  • ksmani on October 19, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    No Kapildev (434 wickets @ 29.64)? Excellent, high class blunder !! We need Kirmani to take some catches and make electric stumpings. Let the first 6 make some runs rather than depending on Dhoni.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    I am sure we have a legendary page of Kapil Dev missing from this list. Ishant has managed to get in and not Kapil Dev!

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Cannot find any fault with this team apart from the fact that if only Kapil Dev had made his debut in 1970 this could very well have been an alternate all time XI for India (replacing Sharma who needs more time to flourish). 7 full-time World XI capable batsmen, one of the best allrounders ever, two top class spinners, and the most talented Indian fast bowler in the last ten years.(zaheer can give srinath a run for his money any day of the week, especially going by his form in the last two years).

    You can't have your pie and eat it too, you know.

    All these articles do remind me that its past time that Cricinfo did its World ATXI. It was scheduled for the 12th, pushed to the 18th, and now we can't even find the due date in the original article. Not yet gotten your teams from the jury? Some ex-captain being a snob? Is it Chappell? I wouldn't be surprised.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    I think one has be out of his mind not to find a place for Kapil Dev in the all time XI. A team is not complete without two all rounders. If we take Dhoni as an all rounder, then we still need to have another. While there is no denying about Zaheer Khan's performance, he is more out of the team due to injury rather than being in the team. Kapil bowled for 16 years without missing a match due to fitness. Over 400 Wickets and 5000 runs, besides being an excellent fielder. I would definitely keep Kapil in the team even if that has to be at the expense of either one of the three Dravid, Laxman or Ganguly. Purely from the talent point of view, Ganguly may miss out, but considering his fighting abilities, Laxman has to give way to Kapil. Furthre keeping two googly bowlers is beyond my comprehension. May be Bedi or Prassanna would have been a better choice to Chandrashekhar. Another all rounder Ravi Shastri should also not go unnoticed.

  • sagarborkar on October 19, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Where is Kapil Dev???? He has to be there in any case. Ishant & Kapil No comparison at all.

  • andrew.henshaw on October 19, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Dump Ganguly for 2001-04 Tendulkar! :P

  • bongalkar on October 19, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Given the inclinations of cricinfo, I thought this would be another mockery with hazare replacing laxman. It turns out, this is a rectification exercise for earlier blunders.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    What is Ishant doing in the team ahead of Kapil Dev?

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Ishant Sharma !!! as a bowler ... noway ... !!! even i can bowl better than him .. any day :P

    Bhaaji shud have been included !!

  • IndianSiva on October 19, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    Scandalous ! The author is not even discussing one by name KAPIL DEV. Any Indian XI which is not including his name is atrocious to say the least. He may not have won many matches on his own but he is largely responsible for avoiding many defeats. Without hesitation I will throw out Zaheer and Ishant and include Kapil and Srinath in the above XI.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    Lovely article. .....In cricket, winning a game is not everything. The boundaries, centuries, wickets, run rate and the score card numbers are the main factors which cricket lovers just love. The players you mentioned are the great legends of Indian cricket. Keep rocking...

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Very nice article as usual by Dileep but wondering - No Kapil Dev????

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    An allrounder like Kapil Dev is missed out for sure.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    You've left out Kapil mate!!!

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    This is a great pick, backing every decision with stats. If anything is backed up with these many numbers, no one can start a debate, yet there's a scope for one. Does he have to pick the XI only from those eras? what about the legends like Kapil Dev who don't belong to any of the "winning" eras, but fought lone battles in losing causes?

  • ElectronSmoke on October 19, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    Most of the reasoning is sound ... as is the selection of the team. Ganguly, the batsman might be deemed a contentious selection - however, his captaincy and ability to mould the team, as well as being the only genuinely world class lefty in the line up works in his favor ( Gambhir is yet to prove himself in AUS, SA and WI). Ishant's strike force and firepower, success in AUS and potential might have weighed in his favor - however given that he has only 3 years under his belt of which a few have been iffy - I'd like to see, despite being in the last leg of his career what did Javagal Srinath bring to the table - 2000 to 2003.

  • dip5 on October 19, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    what is this? no kapil pajji??? unthinkable. he can easily replace VVS.

  • Shri162 on October 19, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    My team was similar in composition except for Ishant Sharma..... :) He was good with the ball only in Australia in that Series......

  • sandeep1978 on October 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Hey, how abt Kapil Dev? I would have thought he was essential.

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    I have a small correction to make at this stage... We have missed a very important person in the line up and that would be Kapil dev... ! He could have easily replaced Ishant or Zaheer any given day (at least Ishant by the present situation) and if Gavaskar was picked so should have been Kapil just for his sheer all-round capabilities and the ability to make the ball talk when it matters... !! also though Sourav is an outstanding performer, i doubt his credentials as a potential match winner... That slot somehow would be better filled in by Mohd. Azharuddin (irrespective of match-fixing) coming in ahead of VVS at no5 with VVS filling in at no6.. !!

  • on October 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    have to choose 2 out of Jumbo,Bhajji and Chandra .........rest all looks fine

  • Rahulbose on October 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Was right with you until you put Ganguly and Ishant in an all time XI for India.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    I'm baffled to see how ishant sharma can make anyones all-time eleven (which for india this basically is). He has had one really good series. ONE! and now hes rated better than... the sad thing is that there is no one else haha

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    I can't believe how you missed Kapil Dev!!! I would replace Ishant Sharma (Did he ever won a match for India?) with Kapil...

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Where's Kapil in all of this pipe-dream?

  • bxveer on October 19, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    Hard to debate that line up though Kumble and Chandra are of the same mold. For sheer variety I would prefer Bedi or Prasanna as the second spinner but how can you choose between Kumble and Chandra?

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    I will take Kapil Dev instead of Ishant Sharma...... How can you miss out him Mr. Dileep..... really surprised.

  • amit26oct on October 19, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Most of the selection I agree upon except for : a. Ishant Sharma ahead of Javagal Srinath: Ishant is still relatively new & trying hard to match the bowler he announced himself as to the world cricket. b. Sourav Ganguly ahead of Gundappa Vishwanath: I'm an ardent fan of Ganguly both as a captain & as a batsman. I know it's hard to exclude Ganguly as a captain of the test team, however as a batsman he should give way to Gundappa Vishwanath.

  • Ranga73 on October 19, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Dileep,

    I agree with most of the selection. But to find no mention of Kapil Dev - the greatest cricketer from India and to a lesser extent Srinath is baffling to say the least. Not sure on what criterion was Ishant sharma picked ahead of these two.

    Ranga

  • ushakiran on October 19, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    nice article.but dhoni shouldn't be here.he can't play long inng. he can't bat overseas pitches.he can play flat tracks.off course bowlers also can bat there.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    What about Bishen Bedi I remember watching him in the Rest Of the World XI that toured Australia in 1971 he was a brilliant player.

  • Meety on October 19, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    Great side but not sure about Sharma. I think he is a huge talent & as you have placed a premium on overseas wins - I think Sharma more than Zaheer will deliver that, but his form of late is so patchy. Against Oz he was at times 3rd rate, but then pulled off what has to be described as a match winning spurt in Mohali.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    Who is Sachin ? Apart from him,,its a nice selection..He must be replaced by Kapil Dev..Poor Indian Sachin fans..When are people in India going to change and have some self respect instead of idolizing the actors-Khans/actresses-minimum dress users/sportsmen like Sachin/ politicians-Family affairs. DON'T WE HAVE ANY SELF RESPECT?

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Great...Kapil Dev has been totally forgotten..what an Indian team without him..at any level...excellent work Mr.

  • xylo on October 19, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    An India XI without a Kapil Dev? What next? an England XI without Flintoff?

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    How can there be an all time India team without Kapil Dev?

  • sami231 on October 19, 2010, 3:28 GMT

    are u seriously suggesting that ishant sharma is better than kapil dev and javagal srinath.

  • JayrajG on October 19, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    Excellent! I would choose Kapil Dev over Ishant Sharma though...Kapil and Zaheer...with Javagal Srinath as the pace backup.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    An interesting viewpoint. selecting players from the most successful teams.. and not surprisingly the team is quite the same as the all time XI selected by cricinfo. In my own opinion despite the enormous success of ms dhoni..saurav ganguli is the best captain india ever had

  • anisthemenace on October 19, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    i'd rather go in with Javagal Srinath instead of Ishanth Sharma

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    How can you forget Kapil DEV??????

  • akshay4india on October 19, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Agree with the entire team with the exceptions of Ishant Sharma. He has done nothing to deserve being in the XI. All the rest were great choices.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Indian Team lacks couple of great allrounders! The stint of Greg Chappell had a very negative impact on Indian Team. There was a budding allrounder in Irfan Pathan, who lost his confidence (due to excessive criticism by the then coach).

    We should look forward to Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj/Raina should also do a bit with the ball. Harbhajan should clear the batting niggles - all the lower order should take training from Sachin (on technique); and Laxman (how to place, and rotate) - the team should look inward - their fellow colleagues. Time is ripe that our pace battery should be organized and be consistent.

    I still think events like world cup requires champion all rounders - and India seriously lakcs them. Kapil could manage - there were many lot of all rounders besides him (Mohinder Amarnath, Kirti Aazad); so to say :)

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    I agree with this 11 except I think Sreenath would be a much much better choice than Ishant. Even if you just take players from these three eras - I believe Sreenath was the key to many of the wins made by Ganguly's gang and provided early breakthroughs in plenty. Ishant still has a lot of way to go to reach something Sreenath has achieved.

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  • on October 19, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    I agree with this 11 except I think Sreenath would be a much much better choice than Ishant. Even if you just take players from these three eras - I believe Sreenath was the key to many of the wins made by Ganguly's gang and provided early breakthroughs in plenty. Ishant still has a lot of way to go to reach something Sreenath has achieved.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Indian Team lacks couple of great allrounders! The stint of Greg Chappell had a very negative impact on Indian Team. There was a budding allrounder in Irfan Pathan, who lost his confidence (due to excessive criticism by the then coach).

    We should look forward to Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj/Raina should also do a bit with the ball. Harbhajan should clear the batting niggles - all the lower order should take training from Sachin (on technique); and Laxman (how to place, and rotate) - the team should look inward - their fellow colleagues. Time is ripe that our pace battery should be organized and be consistent.

    I still think events like world cup requires champion all rounders - and India seriously lakcs them. Kapil could manage - there were many lot of all rounders besides him (Mohinder Amarnath, Kirti Aazad); so to say :)

  • akshay4india on October 19, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Agree with the entire team with the exceptions of Ishant Sharma. He has done nothing to deserve being in the XI. All the rest were great choices.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    How can you forget Kapil DEV??????

  • anisthemenace on October 19, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    i'd rather go in with Javagal Srinath instead of Ishanth Sharma

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    An interesting viewpoint. selecting players from the most successful teams.. and not surprisingly the team is quite the same as the all time XI selected by cricinfo. In my own opinion despite the enormous success of ms dhoni..saurav ganguli is the best captain india ever had

  • JayrajG on October 19, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    Excellent! I would choose Kapil Dev over Ishant Sharma though...Kapil and Zaheer...with Javagal Srinath as the pace backup.

  • sami231 on October 19, 2010, 3:28 GMT

    are u seriously suggesting that ishant sharma is better than kapil dev and javagal srinath.

  • on October 19, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    How can there be an all time India team without Kapil Dev?

  • xylo on October 19, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    An India XI without a Kapil Dev? What next? an England XI without Flintoff?