India played its first Test match in June 1932 against England at Lord’s. India was at that time only the sixth Test playing nation after England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. India’s first ever captain, CK Nayudu was the man who led the team. India lost the match but, it marked the beginning of a journey that would later be marked by many milestones.
Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra, on the eve of India’s 500th Test, picked an all-time Indian Test XI.
Here are the legends that made it to Chopra’s team:
Openers: Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag
Akash Chopra said that there really could be no debate for the opening pair other than that of Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar. He could have a point with both players being regarded as the best batsmen of their time. Gavaskar’s calculative, calm way of approaching the game would also be a perfect balance for Sehwag’s explosive, devil-may-care style of batting.
No. 3: Rahul Dravid
‘If somehow you go through Sunny G-Sehwag, you’d hit a Wall. Rahul ‘consistent’ Dravid has to be the undisputed # 3. Koi shaq?’ said Chopra in his tweet
No. 4: Sachin Tendulkar
’90s was d toughest decade to bat in modern times…& our champ ruled that decade and beyond. Put ur hands together for SRT at #4′ said Chopra.
No. 5: VVS Laxman
‘The bridge between top and lower order is critical…and therefore needed a special player at #5. My vote for VVS.’ said Chopra in his tweet. Not many can argue with that one
No. 6 MS Dhoni
Chopra tweeted that in ‘an all-time Test XI, you should be able to play only 5 batsmen. No prizes for guessing the man who dons the gloves. MSD.’ One of the most successful Test captains of all time and the man that lead India to the number one spot in Test rankings for the very first time, Dhoni’s ability as a batsman and even his ability to lead the team came under doubt many-a-times but the mark he made in history can never be eroded
Let’s start from where we left last night…think nobody will have an issue with Kapil Paji at#7′ said Chopra in his tweet
‘From one champ to another…at #8 is India’s biggest match-winner. And the Most Valuable Player Ever–Anil Kumble,’ was what chopra had to say about the former captain and current coach of the Indian team.
‘Now to a slightly controversial pick…at #9 I’m picking Ashwin. Lots of worthy options but choosing a serial match-series winner,’ said Chopra.
‘At number 10…the best Left-Arm pacer India has ever produced. Extremely skilled,’ Aakash Chopra said in his tweet.
‘Last but not the least…at number 11, I have the man who bowled like a wind and produced disconcerting bounce. Javagal Srinath,’ is what Chopra said as he concluded his selection process.