Laxman's 281 voted greatest Indian innings

VVS Laxman's coruscating, series-turning, once-in-a-lifetime 281 against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001 emerged the overwhelming winner in the Greatest Indian Test Innings survey

Wisden Cricinfo staff
The top spot was a no-contest. VVS Laxman's coruscating, series-turning, once-in-a-lifetime 281 against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001 emerged the overwhelming winner in the Greatest Indian Test Innings survey conducted by Wisden Asia Cricket magazine on the occasion of its third anniversary.
Laxman's 281, that turned a hopeless situation for India to a match-winning one, garnered 268 points, more than Rahul Dravid's 233 against Australia at Adelaide in 2003 which was ranked second. However, Sunil Gavaskar emerged the most valuable batsman. Though his highest ranked innings - a stirring 96 against Pakistan on a crumbling pitch at Bangalore in 1987 - came at number six, Gavaskar had two other innings in the top ten, underscoring his worth to Indian cricket in a period when the team's batting revolved around him.
Rahul Dravid, whose stellar performances have underpinned India's recent success, came out shining too with all four of his nominated innings being ranked in the top 25. Sachin Tendulkar - whose unbeaten, match-winning 155 against Australia at Chennai in 1998 occupied the number nine position - won five nominations in all, and three of them in the top 25.
A total of 63 innings were nominated by the 35-strong jury comprising former players, broadcasters, sportswriters and analysts. They were asked to nominate their own top ten, and each selection was assigned a point value in descending order - 10 for the top-ranked innings, nine for the next, and so on all the way down to one for the tenth-ranked innings.
Gundappa Viswanath, rated by many of his contemporaries, including Gavaskar, as the best Indian batsman of his generation, won five nominations. His gutsy 97, a bulk of which came in the company of tailenders, against West Indies at Madras in 1975, was ranked third. One place lower was Virender Sehwag's thrill-a-minute 309, the highest individual score by an Indian batsman. Performances from the early era were not ignored either, with Vijay Hazare's 145 against Don Bradman's Australians at Adelaide in 1948 being rated fifth and Vinoo Mankad's towering 184 against England at Lord's in 1952 at number seven.
The 40-page cover story feature in the December issue of Wisden Asia Cricket features eyewitness accounts of the top 25 innings as voted by our jury. Those contributing their memories of these performances include: Justin Langer, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Bishan Bedi, Glenn McGrath, Madhav Apte, Rajan Bala, Angus Fraser, Scyld Berry, Ramachandra Guha, Tony Cozier, Saqlain Mushtaq, Ajit Wadekar, Mike Whitney and many others.
The top 25
Player Score v Venue Points
VVS Laxman 281 Australia Kolkata, 2001 268
Dravid 233 Australia Adelaide, 2003 133
Viswanath 97* West Indies Madras, 1975 132
Sehwag 309 Pakistan Multan, 2004 118
Hazare 145 Australia Adelaide, 1948 115
Gavaskar 96 Pakistan Bangalore, 1987 106
Mankad 184 England Lords, 1952 104
Gavaskar 221 England The Oval, 1979 83
Tendulkar 155* Australia Chennai, 1998 81
Gavaskar 220 West Indies Port of Spain, 1971 58
Dravid 148 England Leeds, 2002 56
Viswanath 139 West Indies Calcutta, 1974 54
Dravid 180 Australia Kolkata, 2001 46
Pataudi 75 Australia Melbourne, 1967-68 40
Vengsarkar 102* England Leeds, 1986 37
Tendulkar 114 Australia Perth, 1992 34
Sardesai 112 West Indies Port of Spain, 1971 29
Mushtaq Ali 112 England Manchester, 1936 28
Tendulkar 136 Pakistan Chennai, 1999 26
Dravid 270 Pakistan Rawalpindi, 2004 26
Lala Amarnath 118 England Bombay, 1933 25
Azharuddin 121 England Lords, 1990 22
Mohinder Amarnath 91 West Indies Bridgetown, 1983 22
Vijay Manjrekar 133 England Leeds, 1952 17
Chandu Borde 96 West Indies Delhi, 1959 17
The Jury
Khalid Ansari sportswriter, Madhav Apte former Test player, Abbas Ali Baig former Test player, Rajan Bala sportswriter, Bishan Bedi former Test player, Harsha Bhogle sportswriter and broadcaster, Chandu Borde former Test player, BS Chandrasekhar former Test player, Chetan Chauhan former Test player, Nari Contractor former Test player, Raj Singh Dungarpur former cricketer and administrator, Gulu Ezekiel sportswriter, Anshuman Gaekwad former Test player, Karsan Ghavri former Test player, Ramachandra Guha historian and cricket writer, Mukul Kesavan novelist and cricket writer, Boria Majumdar cricket historian and writer, Sanjay Manjrekar former Test player and broadcaster, Madhav Mantri former Test player, R Mohan sportswriter, Ayaz Memon sportswriter, Suresh Menon sportswriter, Clayton Murzello sportswriter, Bapu Nadkarni former Test player, H Natarajan sportswriter, Vasu Paranjpe former cricketer and coach, Mudar Patherya Sportswriter, Sandeep Patil former Test player, K N Prabhu sportswriter, Vasant Raiji cricket historian and writer, G Rajaraman sportswriter, V Ramnarayan former cricketer and writer, Suresh Saraiya broadcaster, Sharda Ugra sportswriter, Ajit Wadekar former Test player.