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India’s dream Test team: How Twitterati responded to HT poll

sports Updated: Sep 21, 2016 20:26 IST
Leslie Xavier
Leslie Xavier
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Anil Kumble and his team mates appeal for the dismissal of Adam Gilchrist, caught and bowled by Kumble, during a test match between Australia and India, in Melbourne. Twitter users voted to have Kumble in their dream Indian Test team for his spinning chops. (Jack Atley/All Sport/Getty Images)

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.

Viru-Sunny partnership

Almost 100% of Twitter users who responded wanted the swashbuckling Virender Sehwag to open in partnership with Sunil Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar takes a run during a match in October 1987. Twitter polls picked the batsman as their favourite for opening a match, in partnership with Virender Sehwag. (HT Photo)

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.

Kapil-Zak attack

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.

Kapil Dev was captain of the Indian team when they won the 1983 World Cup. (Getty Images)

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.

The squad*

Playing XI:

Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad, MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev (captain), Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, and Erapalli Prasanna.

Reserves:

Javagal Srinath, Sourav Ganguly, R Ashwin, and Virat Kohli.

(* Players were picked based on their popularity among our readers.)