G.O.A.T : Indian Cricket Edition

Who are the 20 greatest Indian cricket players of all time?

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Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar (Source: Wisden India)

I shall split my list into two parts. My list includes 10 batsmen and 10 bowlers, by sheer numbers over the years. This way, I ensure equal justice to both specialists.


10 Greatest Indian Batsmen** (of all time across all formats)

RANK RUNS MATCHES PLAYER FC TEAM
1 50192 957 Sachin Tendulkar Mumbai
2 41651 856 Rahul Dravid Karnataka
3 33035 768 Sourav Ganguly Bengal
4 31632 748 Gautam Gambhir Delhi
5 30428 499 Sunil Gavaskar Mumbai
6 29198 685 Virender Sehwag Delhi
7 28786 661 Mohammad Azharuddin Hyderabad
8 28646 615 Virat Kohli Delhi
9 26314 785 Yuvraj Singh Punjab
10 26107 838 Mahendra Singh Dhoni Jharkhand

10 Greatest Indian Bowlers** (of all time across all formats)

RANK WICKETS MATCHES PLAYER FC TEAM
1 1707 678 Anil Kumble Karnataka
2 1631 442 Bishen Singh Bedi Punjab
3 1454 412 Srinivas Venkataraghavan Tamil Nadu
4 1392 783 Harbhajan Singh Punjab
5 1170 585 Kapil Dev Haryana
6 1168 560 Zaheer Khan Baroda
7 1071 253 Bhagwath Chandrasekhar Karnataka
8 1005 495 Amit Mishra Haryana
9 1003 544 Murali Kartik Railways
10 974 244 Erapalli Prasanna Karnataka

*Current players in turquoise.
**Numbers as on 1 February 2019.


You have the right to disagree with my list. Impact on the game is debatable, which is why Bradman vs. Tendulkar or Sobers vs. Sehwag was/will be debated for years, without a conclusion. Comparisons are easier when backed by numbers. Don’t we all love a spreadsheet analysis or graphs on a powerpoint slide? 🙂

Besides, give me a better list of cricketing greats than the one above, and we’ll talk. All opinions are welcome in the comments section.


Continue to G.O.A.T series : Episode 2.

Also read:
Why do Indians Love Cricket?

India : The Powerhouse of Spin Bowling
India’s Default Setting = Love For Cricket?

G.O.A.T series : Episode 2

Have you checked out G.O.A.T : Indian Cricket Edition yet?


In light of India’s Asia Cup 2018 victory, it is time for a cricket post. Fun fact, this is my 25th cricket-related blog post. Too much cricket, you say? Well, I have 51 posts related to the Harry Potter universe, nobody ever complained about that, did they?

In the last article, I covered a list of 20 greatest Indian cricketers (men) of all time. But then, I had a feeling that even if I split the list to cover 10 batsmen and 10 bowlers, it does not do justice to G.O.A.T, because after all, cricket remains a team sport, despite the occasional individual brilliance shining through.

So, this time, I have decided to come up with two G.O.A.T teams in each format, and pit them against one another. A few disclaimers here. One, this is my list. You have the right to disagree with my list. Impact on the game is debatable, which is why Bradman vs. Tendulkar or Sobers vs. Sehwag was/will be debated for years, without a conclusion. Two, this list is as of today, the 30th of September 2018. I am sure there will be new players who will deserve to be on this list, over time. The future of Indian cricket is in good hands. Three, the A team might seem like it has an edge over the B team, but do not let that fool you. Both teams deserve to be called the G.O.A.T.

Now that’s settled, can it get more exciting than this? Let’s go!


Test Cricket

TEAM A TEAM B
Virender SEHWAG Sunil GAVASKAR
Cheteshwar PUJARA Gundappa VISWANATH
Virat KOHLI (c) Rahul DRAVID
Sachin TENDULKAR Dilip VENGSARKAR
VVS LAXMAN Sourav GANGULY (c)
Mohammad AZHARUDDIN Kapil DEV
Mahendra Singh DHONI (wk) Syed KIRMANI (wk)
Anil KUMBLE Harbhajan SINGH
Bishen Singh BEDI Ravichandran ASHWIN
Bhagwath CHANDRASEKHAR Erapalli PRASANNA
Zaheer KHAN Ishant SHARMA
Mohammed SHAMI Javagal SRINATH

Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly are my captains, for obvious reasons. Surprised to see Mohammed Shami in the A team? Don’t be. The guy has 126 wickets* in 35 matches*, and is already India’s 5th most successful fast bowler.


One Day International Cricket

TEAM A TEAM B
Shikhar DHAWAN Virender SEHWAG
Sachin TENDULKAR Gautam GAMBHIR
Virat KOHLI Sourav GANGULY (c)
Mohammad AZHARUDDIN Rahul DRAVID
Rohit SHARMA Ajay JADEJA
Suresh RAINA Yuvraj SINGH
Mahendra Singh DHONI (c/wk) Ravindra JADEJA
Kapil DEV Irfan PATHAN
Ravichandran ASHWIN Nayan MONGIA (wk)
Anil KUMBLE Harbhajan SINGH
Javagal SRINATH Ajit AGARKAR
Venkatesh PRASAD Zaheer KHAN

MS Dhoni gets to captain the A team, because a World Cup, a World T20 and a Champions Trophy (“Duh!”). Again, the A team may look stronger on paper (“Team of captains?”) but have you seen the B team yet? They can bat deep (“Get Dravid to keep wickets and they can go deeper“), and also seem to have a more potent bowling attack between the two teams. Got you!


Twenty20 International Cricket

TEAM A TEAM B
Virender SEHWAG Rohit SHARMA (c)
Shikhar DHAWAN Lokesh RAHUL
Virat KOHLI Gautam GAMBHIR
Yuvraj SINGH Ajinkya RAHANE
Manish PANDEY Dinesh KARTHIK (wk)
Robin UTHAPPA Suresh RAINA
Mahendra Singh DHONI (c/wk) Hardik PANDYA
Irfan PATHAN Ravindra JADEJA
Ravichandran ASHWIN Bhuvaneshwar KUMAR
Harbhajan SINGH Zaheer KHAN
Jasprit BUMRAH Yuzvendra CHAHAL
Kuldeep YADAV Ashish NEHRA

This is still a rather new format. With only 12 years* and 104 matches* of T20s played by India, there weren’t enough players to choose from to make two teams worthy of a G.O.A.T clash, and I also doubt if this could be called that, yet. If a player like Kuldeep Yadav who made his debut in 2017 can be a 12th man in the A team, that says something. Still, I did manage to put together two very formidable teams.


Indian Premier League

TEAM A TEAM B
David WARNER ✈ Christopher GAYLE ✈
Gautam GAMBHIR (c) Rohit SHARMA
Robin UTHAPPA Virat KOHLI
Dinesh KARTHIK (wk) AB de VILLIERS ✈
Shane WATSON ✈ Shikhar DHAWAN
Suresh RAINA Ajinkya RAHANE
Yusuf PATHAN Mahendra Singh DHONI (c/wk)
Ravichandran ASHWIN Dwayne BRAVO ✈
Bhuvaneshwar KUMAR Sunil NARINE ✈
Amit MISHRA Piyush CHAWLA
Lasith MALINGA ✈ Harbhajan SINGH
Dale STEYN ✈ Umesh YADAV

Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni are the captains, again for obvious reasons. They have won enough IPL titles between them. For a change, the B team looks epic on paper, at least their batting lineup does, which has Sunil Narine coming in at No. 9. But wait till you see the bowling attack of the A team!


Let the games begin!


*Numbers as on 30 September 2018

Also read:
Why do Indians Love Cricket?

India : The Powerhouse of Spin Bowling
India’s Default Setting = Love For Cricket?

Cow Cricket!

Here’s a fun fact about cows and cricket, in light of the qualification of teams from Jersey and Guernsey for the European Regional Finals, which gives them a chance to play the 2020 World T20 Qualifiers!

A cow shot in Cricket was a wild and risky shot which was considered to be mostly played by players with little knowledge of, or ability to apply, the more difficult techniques of the game. Such players were supposed to be particularly prominent in the type of cricket played in rural or agricultural areas, where players did not have exposure to more sophisticated methods of playing. Such shots are also called “agricultural”. In modern day cricket, cow corner is a fielding position, named so because that is where ‘cow shots’ are intended to go.

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