India's Dream Cricket Test Team

As the other sports forums seem to have taken old to some respect, well here is a cricket forum. NOTE: This forum will be heavily moderated and can be revoked at any time is discussions go out of hand.

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby BSharma » Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:16 am

Name your "Dream" Indian cricket test team. Assume that the test match (not ODI) will be played in India. List your captain, batting order and select a wicketkeeper.

My "Dream" team:

1. Sunil Gavaskar
2. Virender Sehwag
3. Rahul Dravid
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. Polly Umrigar
(for the young Indian cricket fans - he scored 12 centuries when few test matches were played in a year. For the record he was a good bowler also and took 4 for 27 while helping India to defeat mighty Australia at Kanpur in 1959. He scored a century and took five wickets in an innings - a feat he achieved against West Indies at Port of Spain in 1962. (Vinoo Mankad is the other Indian to achieve that feat)
6. Vinoo Mankad (a great all-rounder)
7. Kapil Dev Captain)
8. Farokh Engineer (my sentimental choice over Syed Kirmani and I had a hard time not choosing Syed. Farokh was selected as the first-choice wicketkeeper for the Rest of the World XI series in England and Australia in the early 1970s.)
9. Anil Kumble (leg spinner)
10.Javagal Srinath
11.Erapalli Prasanna
(off spinner)

The batting line up goes all the way to # 8 although Kumble could bat well also. Vinoo Mankad and Farokh Engineer were opening batsmen also. Kapil Dev and Srinath could open the bowling with the new ball, and Prasanna and Kumble would mesmerize the batsmen with their spin bowling. Vinoo Mankad, Polly Umbrigar, Tendulkar and Sehwag could give rest to the established bowlers.

GR Viswanath, Vijay Merchant, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare, Bishan Singh Bedi, VV Laxman, etc were several others that I considered but ended up leaving them out.

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby BSharma » Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:46 pm

I can't imagine that the Indians will not write about cricket! I expected several people to post their "dream team" in this forum, and a lively debate to occur why one player should be chosen and not the other. Come on guys and tells us about the best 11 Indian players to play in whites.

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby gvhvhg » Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:03 pm

1 Sunil Gavaskar
2 Ravi Shastri
3 Sachin Tendulkar
4 Rahul Dravid (wc)
5 Saurav Ganguly (vc)
6 Kapil Dev (c)
7 Vinoo Mankad
8 Javagal Srinath
9 Anil Kumble
10 Harbhajan Singh
11 Bishan Bedi

i couldnt work Kirmani in

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Dhruv » Sat Apr 10, 2004 6:57 pm

Well after some thought I came up with and this is for Test cricket. One days would have a different team :

1. Sunil Gavaskar (no surprise)
2. Virender Sehwag
3. Rahul Dravid
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. Mohd. Azharuddin
6. Vinoo Mankad (allrounder)
7. Farooq Engineer (WK)
8. Kapil Dev (right arm)
9. Javagal Srinath (right arm)
10. Erapalli Prasanna (offspinner)
11. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (leggie, offie, fast whatever ;) )
....
12. Irfan Pathan/Zaheer Khan (left arm) I want one but neither is good enough to make the 11 yet
13. Eknath Solkar (great closein fielder makes the spinner that much more dangerous but needed to drop someone and couldn't decide who... :( In a match I'd ask someone to feign injury and get him on there when the spinners were bowling ;) )


Batting goes until Kapil and the three tailenders are well........ (with Chandra in there) exactly that. Lots of people who could have made it onto the team so was tough.

My explanations: Mankad over Shastri though I went back and forth on this one (I wanted 5 full time bowlers) and a pretty hand bat as well. Vengsarkar, Vishwanath etc are overshadowed by Dravid and Azhar IMO . The fast bowling dept is a little bare, so the newbies get a honorable mention. I need good fielder and Azhar helps there as well. Spinners I guess I haven't seen the guys I picked play but from what I hear and read they were very good and Chandra over Kumble just because its tests and he was unpredictable. ODI's Kumble would get the nod. Anyway that makes it dream team #3.

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Postby gvhvhg » Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:58 pm

yea...how could i forget azhar and jadeja?!? the match fixing must have tainted their legacies in my mind....mongia i considered..

Dhruv, as good as Pathan is....he has not been around long enough to even be considered for an all-time list yet...

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Postby gvhvhg » Sat Apr 10, 2004 8:00 pm

also...i do realize that he now has the highest test score by an indian...but for some reason i STILL wouldnt put sehwag in....i dont know why....but i just wouldn't...i guess u had to see the knock to beleive it....

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Postby PKBasu » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:44 pm

I have selected two full teams. My first choice team would be the first names for each position mentioned below, with the second choice mentioned next to each name for the position in the batting order:

Sunil Gavaskar (captain) / Vijay Merchant
Vinoo Mankad / Virender Sehwag
Rahul Dravid / Dilip Vengsarkar
Sachin Tendulkar / Gundappa Vishwanath
Vijay Hazare / Sourav Ganguly (captain)
Mohammed Azharuddin / Mohinder Amarnath
Kapil Dev / Javagal Srinath
Syed Kirmani / Probir Sen
Erapalli Prasanna (10) / Harbhajan Singh
Mohammed Nissar (11) / Bishen Singh Bedi
Anil Kumble (9) / Bhagwat Chandrasekhar

The first team looks very balanced, with 5 bowlers (Mankad took 100 test wickets in 23 tests; only Prasanna did better, in 20). Nissar and Kapil would be a formidable opening pair (Nissar took the stuffings out of a powerful England line-up in India's first test in 1932). Prasanna would be a marginal selection ahead of Harbhajan, simply because the latter has had a briefer career (Prasanna would be the only liability in the field in the first XI; it was on fielding and batting ability that I picked Kumble over Chandra, and Mankad over Bedi).
The second team is seemingly unbalanced, but Srinath shares the new ball (in time honoured Indian tradition) with Amarnath, and Ganguly helping the latter after a few overs (Amarnath started his test career as a specialist opening bowler who could bat a bit in 1969; Ganguly successfully opened the bowling in an incisive 7-over spell in Calcutta against the Aussies in 2001). But Bedi, Chandra and Harbhajan would make a terrific spinning trio (both at home and away).
Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Parthiv Patel have had too brief careers to judge yet. VVS Laxman narrowly fails to make the second team -- Ganguly getting in as captain, and because he has succeeded against a variety of opponents (England, Sri Lanka, Australia, NZ) not just against one (Australia in VVS' case).
Among wicket-keepers, Kirmani is the best wicket-keeper batsman easily. Engineer was the most flamboyant, but less effective in reality (see his stats; I loved his style too). P Sen was India's greatest-ever pure wicket-keeper (especially in stumping, which would be a key skill in a 3-pronged spin attack).
Mankad over Sehwag as opener...well, Mankad still has the world record for the highest opening partnership (with Pankaj Roy) and Sehwag's achievements are over a still-brief career of 22 tests. If he sustains this for another 15 tests, Sehwag will certainly deserve selection ahead of Mankad, although that would reduce the balance of the side somewhat.

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Postby gvhvhg » Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:46 pm

kapil not as the captain?!?! he is the greatest indian captain ever, ganguly second....not gavaskar...

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby PKBasu » Sun Apr 11, 2004 1:46 am

We are talking tests here, and I'm afraid Kapil didn't have too many achievements as a captain in tests, apart from the 1986 series victory in England. Gavaskar began with a win in a test in New Zealand, he beat the West Indies and Australia in home series as captain and played the instrumental role in making Indian cricket believe in itself -- apart from finishing with an above-50% win-loss record as captain. I would also consider MAK Pataudi and Ajit Wadekar for the captain's role, but neither of them would come remotely close to making the team on merit -- so they can't just be in as captain.
Ganguly of course has been India's most successful captain (especially overseas), but he doesn't make the first team on pure cricketing merit either -- despite being the greatest left-hand batsman in India's cricket history to date (ahead of Nari Contractor and Ajit Wadekar, two great captains who were only middlingly-good batsmen). Yuvraj Singh, on the basis of his first three tests, could well become India's greatest left-hand batsman, but it is still too early to judge.

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Postby PKBasu » Sun Apr 11, 2004 2:20 am

A few more explanations...Vinoo Mankad and Vijay Hazare both lost their best cricketing years to the second World War, and so only managed to begin their careers in England 1946 (under Pataudi Sr.). They were then 29 and 31 respectively. Hazare still finished with a career batting average of nearly 48 (albeit over a relatively short 6-year span of 30 tests). People of that generation remember Vijay Samuel Hazare as the "Wall" of his time, the guy you could turn to if you needed to bat all day or longer -- the quintessential test batsman (who could also bowl right arm medium). Mankad played on much longer (until 1958-59, when he was approaching 42, and his batting suffered in the later years). But, given that he had so little quality support with the ball, Mankad was probably India's greatest-ever all-rounder: a top-notch batsman (opener in the first decade or so of his test career) but also India's best left-arm spinner before Bedi (he was certainly a substantially better bowler than Maninder, Shastri, Joshi, Nadkarni, SLVRaju, Raghuram Bhatt, etc.).

Umrigar had a fuller and longer test career, and was certainly among India's greatest all-rounders in the 1950s (a bowler in the mould of Sachin, with slightly better achievements; and a batsman of calibre). But in 1952 and 1959, Polly looked miserably hapless against the pace of Fred Truman and company in English conditions -- and the memory of him as Truman's rabbit is one that has stayed with many (I only know of this from books such as Saradindu Sanyal's wonderful history of India-England cricket from 1932-1972, and from stories my mother told me!). On closer scrutiny (especially of the numbers) I should probably include Umrigar at least in the second XI (probably at Ganguly's expense, in which case he or Merchant could be captain of that team). But we would then have no left-hand batsmen in either side!

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby BSharma » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:37 am

gvhhvg, you bring up an interesting option of using Dravid as a wicketkeeper in the "dream team" because it opens up a spot for another bowler. Three spinners on an Indian wicket could create havoc in any country's lineup.

PKB, I debated about putting Vijay Hazare in the line-up but went with Polly Umbrigar. The latter had trouble against Truman in England but who else did well against the English attack at that time. Umbrigar did make up for it during the tour of West Indies in 1962 especially when the Indians were scared of the pace attack after Nari Contracter nearly lost his life. However, we are talking about the test match being played in India and not in England. The team selection would be different if the match would take place in England.

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby nayan » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:39 pm

Hi,

This is my all-time best Indian Test team.

1) Sunil Gavaskar
2) F Engineer (Wk)
3) Rahul Dravid
4) Sachin Tendulkar
5) Sourav Ganguly (C)
6) Mohinder Amarnath
7) V Mankad
8) Kapil Dev
9) A Kumble
10) J Srinath
11) E Prasanna
12) E Solkar

I wanted to include Vengsarkar and Laxman but Ganguly got in purely because of his captaincy. Even with his limitations he is the best captain we have produced (don't know much about Pataudi, believe he was also very good. ) The rest are more or less automatic choices. Kumble is the person who has won us the most number of matches (including all our great cricketers -past or present, batsmen or bowlers). Srinath is the best fast bowler we had over a period of time. I took Engineer instead of Sehwag to give the team the vital balance. Mohinder can also bowl his seamers as and when required. As for the rest there is nothing much I can add.

Your comments!!!!!!!!!!!

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Red_Indian » Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:45 pm

Here's my shot at it.

Note: This is my FAVOURITE India Test XI of all times. Not the best XI players IMO.

1. K Srikkanth (I know it's tests!!!)
2. A Jadeja
3. R. Dravid
4. GR Vishwanath (Never seen him play, but love whatever I have heard/ read about him)
5. M Azharuddin (A treat to watch when in full flow)
6. Kapil Dev (the greatest cricketer ever - enough said!)
7. Kiran More (the best Indian keeper I have seen)
8. A. Agarkar
9. A. Kumble
10. I. Pathan (!!!!)
11. E Prasanna (same as Vishy)

Of course I have grown up watching cricket in the 90s - as it shows in my selection ;)

This was a tough one for me actually. I never really thought about it before this.

But I have given a lot of thought to my all time favourite test players from all countries. This is how my squad would look like (sorry to digress a bit!!)

Openers:
G. Gooch
M. Taylor
G. Kirsten

Middle order:
B. Lara
V. Richards
H. Cronje
A. Jadeja

All rounder:
Kapil Dev

Wicket keeper:
A. Stewart

Seamers:
C. Ambrose
A. Donald
D. Gough

Spinners:
S. Warne
E. Prasanna

There's my balanced squad of 14 (7 batsmen, 1 all rounder, 1 w.k. and 5 bowlers)

In my eleven I would pick Gooch and one of the two lefties as openers - Taylor to captain when selected (best captain I've seen!!), or Cronje when Kirsten plays.

On a batting pitch, one of the 4 batsmen would sit out (Jadeja = 12th man) and would go in with an extra bowler (Prasanna or Ambrose).

Donald and Gough to be my front line picks along with Warnie as the lone spinner.

To summarize:

G. Gooch
M. Taylor (c) / G. Kirsten
B. Lara
V. Richards
H. Cronje (v.c.)
A. Stewart (w.k.)
E. Prasanna/ C. Ambrose/ A. Jadeja
Kapil Dev
A. Donald
D. Gough
S. Warne

Anyone else wanna have a go at it? ;)

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Postby BSharma » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:03 pm

nayan, the more I think about Eknath Solkar the more I am convinced to choose him on my "dream team" to make the spinners look better on an Indian pitch. He could open the bowling attack also with Kapil Dev but taking him on the team would deprive Srinath a spot on my "dream team". I saw Solkar play and he was an outstanding close-in fielder especially when the spinners were in action. Sometimes I would be afraid to see him standing so close to the batsmen; he could literally shake their hands!

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India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby BSharma » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:09 pm

But I have given a lot of thought to my all time favourite test players from all countries. This is how my squad would look like (sorry to digress a bit!!)


Can you read my mind, Red_Indian? I was going to ask the fans to select a "dream world team" after several fans had written about the Indian dream team.

All I can say about your "dream world team" is that you are going to get an earful from PKBasu. Choosing only two Indians on the world team? How did Dhruv let you in into this forum? He may have to check your credentials again and make sure that you are not anti-Indian. (just kidding)


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