All time India One Day XV

The Aussies went through the exercise of picking an all time XI before the World Cup and while discussing in another thread with Mohan Krishnamoorthy, we came up with this idea of an all time India XV.

So, here is my team:


1. Sachin Tendulkar

2. Sourav Ganguly

Others who were considered for this slot were Virender Sehwag, Kris Srikkanth, Navjot Sidhu, Ravi Shastri and  Sunil Gavaskar.

Kris Srikkanth was one of the first openers in the world who attacked from the get-go. Navjot Sidhu could hit those amazing sixes coming half way down the pitch. But as far as openers go for an all time India XI, you can’t go beyond the peerless Tendulkar and Ganguly combination. Together they have over 25000 ODI runs and over 60 centuries. Moreover, the left-hander-right-hander combination would make this a killer opening pair. Even a Sehwag in his prime would not be able to dislodge this opening combination at its peak.

Middle order

3. Virender Sehwag

4. Rahul Dravid

5. Mohammed Azharuddin

Although I have not penned Sehwag as an opening batsman, with his “near 100” strike rate and attacking game, he would come out at No. 3 in my team. Rahul Dravid, aka ‘The Wall’ will easily slide into No. 4. His 40 plus average and 70-plus strike rate makes him an ideal bat in the middle order. I would slot Mohammed Azharuddin at No. 5. Although he exited International cricket in disgrace, he had accumulated over 9000 runs and was a great batsman and fielder.

The others who were considered but didn’t make the cut included Dilip Vengsarkar, Ajay Jadeja, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, and Yuvraj Singh.

Lower middle order/allrounders

6. Ravi Shastri

7. M. S. Dhoni

8. Kapil Dev

As far as all rounders go, you can’t beat that list. Ravi Shastri swatting the ball for a six after coming in in the 45th over was an awesome sight. Promoting him into the opening slot pretty much killed his slog game in his later years. He was also a useful spinner who could bowl out his 10 overs.

Dhoni’s business card should actually read “Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Wicket keeper, Batsman, Slogger”. Need I say more? He has got a strike rate of 98.49 and an average of 46.61. Dhoni comes in at No. 7 in my team. Kapil Dev, the allrounder, could easily bat up the order, but he would have to settle for No.  8. 

Full time bowlers

9. Zaheer Khan

10. Javagal Srinath

11. Anil Kumble

The No. 9 slot was a tough fight between Zaheer Khan and Manoj Prabhakar. Manoj Prabhakar at his best was a very good bowler at the death and wasn’t bad with the bat either. But for sheer energy and the variety he offers with his left arm pace, Zaheer edges out Manoj Prabhakar for the No. 9 slot.

Srinath would easily grab the No. 10 slot ahead of the likes of Agarkar and Prasad. A lot of people forget that Srinath was the leading wicket taker for India in one dayers until Anil Kumble overtook his record. Bowlers like Chetan Sharma, Roger Binny and Madan Lal shined in the odd game, but they just weren’t good and consistent enough to get into my pick.

Kumble, the highest wicket taker for India would get the lone spinners slot, ahead of the only other person challenging him – Harbhajan Singh.

To make up the XV, I would pick 2 other batsmen and 2 bowlers. The 2 batsmen slots would go to Jadeja and Yuvraj. Both very different players, but excellent fielders. Prabhakar and Agarkar would take up the two bowling slots.

So here is my final XV – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Mohammed Azharudin, Ravi Shastri, M. S. Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Yuvraj Singh, Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajit Agarkar.

The XI, I have picked contains 5 bowlers who can bowl all of their 10 overs in addition to the “batting” allrounders such as Tendulkar, Ganguly and Sehwag. In some matches where just 4 bowlers would suffice, we would have the flexibility of bringing in an additional batsman such as Jadeja or Yuvraj in to the XI (who can themselves bowl a few overs).

So who would be the captain? The team is filled with players who have captained India, but my choice would be Ravi Shastri. He has a shrewd cricketing brain, but was never given enough chance to lead India.


24 responses to “All time India One Day XV

  1. Thank you Mahesh for selecting Ravi as captain of India.

  2. The choice of Ravi Shastri is a good one. The choices of Azharuddin and Jadeja makes me think that a cup of tea Would not be the only thing that would be fixed in the dressing room! With Azharuddin serving a life-ban, I think it would be a shame to consider him in any team. Perhaps I am being a tad harsh, but time’s got to be served for wrong deeds — and in his case, it is ‘life’. I loved him as a genial, wristy, gentlemanly player, but gave up on him the moment it was proven that he had stepped out of line.

    He should not be part of the team.

    — Mohan

  3. hi every one…thz 4 including Mohammad Azharuddin in the team!!he was one of the very bests….he deserves it…. Azza bhai u still rock

  4. Hello,

    There was a great off-spinner India had produced, S. Venkataraghavan. A great off-spinner, useful batsman, superb fielder.

    Venkat is also a more economical bowler than most spi n bowlers. Gary Sobers mentioned that “Give me Venkat, (in addition to his fast bowlers – Hall, Griffith,..) I will beat the rest of the world”.

    Anil Kumble admits the obvious – I am not Jonty Rhodes.

  5. Venkat played a total of 15 career-ODI games, bowled 140 overs, gave away 542 runs for a total of 5 wickets.

  6. Blogesh, I forgot to add that, apart from your choice of Azharuddin and Jadeja, my feeling is that this is a good team — and the rationale also appears to be spot on. No doubt they were good players, but as they say, “if you do the crime, you do the time”….

    — Mohan

  7. if we want to live in the world of statistics alone, in my view, that does not tell the whole thing about the bowler or the cricket player in my view.

    Venkat is a much better spinner than Kumble or any of the Indian spin greats – Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekar . For a one day context, it was well known Venkat was ideal. Venkat was an excellent fielder.

    VV Kumar was a better leg spinner than Kumble :-)). Too bad he lived in a different era. Abdul Qadir was a better leg spinner than Shane Warne.

  8. gnbmdr: My point was not merely about statistics. And I certainly do not live in the world of statistics alone. If I did, I’d not be able to support Ganguly as vehemently as I do! I thought you’d have known that by now 🙂

    My point was that a 15-game effort for 5-wicket return is just not enough to say whether a player was good or not. All we can say, in my view, is “he played a few ODIs”!

  9. mohankaus,

    a cricket fan as you would know that in those days, there were not that many one day games as it is now. so, Venkat played less number of games. Some fans have watched Venkat’s bowling, fielding over many years and can make a judgement. In my view, Venkat is better than Kumble hands down.

    sobers, did not play a single one day. his stats would read 0 – 0 – 0- 0- ….

    would sobers if he had played the game be a good player ?

  10. Mohan,

    When I was writing down the team list, I was in a big dilemma whether to consider Azhar or not. Here was a great player who was delight to watch and had a good record to match, but the betting scandals he was involved in almost made me loose the high regard I held for the game. There was a brief period where I even thought about not following the game anymore – and that pretty much sums up the disgust I felt at that time.

    But I thought that I should set my personal feelings aside and pick the side on cricketing merit alone…

  11. gnbmdr,

    Very good point on Sobers. But the same would apply for Don Bradman – and he wasn’t picked in the Greatest Australian XI. I guess you would have draw the line somewhere.

    It is a pity some of the greats, like Venkat or Chandrasekhar or even Sobers and Don Bradman never played ODIs or played very few games to be sufficiently judged.

  12. Great team. My only concern in Jadeja. Was he better than what Yuvraj is or will be? I know it is still early to make a judgment but I think Yuvraj is definitely ahead of Jadeja and his final stats will show that. I also feel including Robin Singh or Jimmy Amarnath for Prabhakar would be better. Here I rate both as better fielders than Prabhakar, though Jimmy was from a different era, his ’83 performances are enough to take him in the 15.

  13. No Salim Durrani , no C.K Nayadu, No Vinoo Manakad ?

  14. i agree. then i we should not call this “all-time great” india team. it should be the best indian team of the “recent era”.

    in my view, venkat (who’s cricket acumen is well known) would be the best captain of the all-time great One-day indian team.

    Azaruddin for sure should be in the team. Sehwag could be dropped and there were other great indian batsmen who could be considered.

    Dhoni or Farokh Engineer a better keeper and batsman ? Farokh Engineer was considered a superb wicket keeper by all international standards and an attacking batsman too.

    vinu mankad and kapil dev are the best allrounders india had produced. but i am not sure if Vinu Mankad could have adopted his game for one-days.

    Venkat, Engineer by their normal cricketing style is more suited for one-days. For. e.g. Sunil Gavaskar the best opening batsman is not considered. He was the best for test matches.

  15. if Sir Don Bradman is not selected for Aus IX that is a shame on the selection in my view.

    Other than a few players like Ponting, Damien Martin, in the current Australian squad, “the class” in batting is lacking. I can not stand Andrew Symonds – a total Gada ….

    It would be a treat to watch someone like Greg Chappell, Doug Walters facing Holding, Roberts, Imran Khan, ….

  16. I did not look at the AUS XI selected is even more pathetic to say the least.

    Australia’s greatest ODI XI Adam Gilchrist (wk), Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Dean Jones, Steve Waugh (capt), Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Greg Chappell (12th man). This team has been selected by Steve Waugh ?

    Greg Chappell is the 12th man ? Plodder like Dean Jones instead of Greg Chappell. It is ridiculous. During his playing days Greg was an anchor for the team.

    Mark Waugh ? instead of other great Aus batsmen ? – Ian Chappell, Doug Walters, … These folks played one-days. Other greats like Will Lawry, Ian Redpath did not play one-days.

    Brett Lee ?? – a partial chucker. Australia had a great all-rounder – Gary Gilmour, Max Walker,

  17. I would leave Azhar (for scandalous reasons), Jadeja, and Prabhakar out of the side and include Sandeep Patil, Mohinder Amarnath and Munaf Patel in the side. My eleven would be:

    1. Tendulkar
    2. Ganguly
    3. Mohinder Amarnath
    4. R. Dravid
    5. V. Sehwag/S.Patil
    6. R. Shastri
    7. M. S. Dhoni
    8. N. Kapil Dev
    9. A. Kumble
    10. Z. Khan
    11. M. Patel/Srinath

    The remaining two would be:
    12. A. Agarkar
    13. Y. Singh

  18. Srikanth: I agree with the choices of Amarnath, and Sandeep Patil ahead of Azharuddin and Jadeja. They are tainted players and should not be a part of any best-of teams. For the same reason, Prabhakar should be dropped too. I’d feel that Venkatesh Prasad would be a better replacement for Prabhakar that Munaf Patel… I feel Munaf Patel ahead of a seasoned, clever and proven player like Srinath is a bit much, in my view.

    So, my team would be Tendulkar, Ganguly, Amarnath, Dravid (Yuvraj), Sehwag (Patil), Shastri, Dhoni, Kapil, Kumble, Zaheer (Prasad), Srinath (Agarkar)

    — Mohan

  19. gnbmdr – It would be interesting to find out what your all time India XV would be.

  20. I need to think about this for sometime.

    For “All-time best team of India, S. Venkataraghavan would be the captain of the team. Another spinner, I would select for one day would be Rajendra Goel.

  21. hi,
    hey 4 da once who r saying rubbish about Azharuddin, they should undersatnd Azharuddin alone cant fix matches..if AZZA has fixed matches then Tendulkar,Ganguly ,Dravid,Kumble,Srinath were also involved.. because only one or 2 players cant fix matches..if any one wants 2 drop Azhar from this team then they should also drop the players who played with him and are there in this team…Asif from Bangladesh..cheers 2 AZHAR ..Inshallah one day ur life ban wil be removed….

  22. gnbmdr:

    Dean Jones was a “plodder”! Surely you were watching something else or doing the washing or the ironing when he was on TV!

    — Mohan

  23. Pingback: Current Worlds’ Best ODI Team « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  24. Can’t take Shastri in a ODI team in spite of his Champion of Champions award in 1985 B & H WSC triumph in ODIs. My all time best Indian ODI team :

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