The number of great cricket players India has churned out makes selecting an all-time best Test team extremely difficult.
So, ahead of India’s 500th Test — to be played against New Zealand in Kanpur from Thursday — we asked Hindustan Times readers to name their 11 favourite players for the squad in a Twitter poll.
The results hold no major surprises.
Almost 100% of Twitter users who responded wanted the swashbuckling Virender Sehwag to open in partnership with Sunil Gavaskar.
It’s a dream pairing. Imagine Sehwag cutting loose at one end and Gavaskar holding fort at the other. The duo would give nightmares to the opposition bowling attacks.
Rahul Dravid would come out at No.3 followed by Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad and MS Dhoni.
The bowling department is to be spearheaded by Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan, with our readers wanting Anil Kumble and Erapalli Prasanna, the off-spin great in the Fab Four of the 1970s, to handle the spin department. Mankad’s left-arm spin would make the attack even more potent.
The only area where our readers had mixed feelings was when it came to picking the captain. It was almost a 50/50 split between Kapil and Dhoni. Ultimately, India’s first World-Cup winning captain lead the side with Dhoni as vice-captain.
Another successful Test captain, Sourav Ganguly, and current skipper Virat Kohli also made it to the squad of 15, but as reserve players.
Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad, MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev (captain), Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, and Erapalli Prasanna.
Javagal Srinath, Sourav Ganguly, R Ashwin, and Virat Kohli.
(* Players were picked based on their popularity among our readers.)