An All-Time India World Cup XI
March 23 2019
India is one of three teams, the other being the West Indies and Australia, that has won the Cricket World Cup more than once. Here is my All Time Indian World Cup XI
Rahul Dravid (V. Capt.)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
Kapil Dev (Capt.)
12th Man… Mohammad Kaif
Sachin and Sourav open the batting. The two have scored over 2000 and over 1000 runs respectively in World Cups all over the world from South Africa, to Australia, to England and of course India, so they were nearly automatic choices. The other players who I considered for the opening slot included Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Kris Srikkanth, Shikhar Dhawan, and Rohit Sharma. But all of the other openers combined have 6 centuries between them while the pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly have 10.
The middle order is very solid with Virat Kohli at three, Rahul Dravid at four and Mohinder Amarnath at five. Among the others I considered were Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar, Yashpal Sharma, Sandip Patil, and Suresh Raina. But the three chosen were head and shoulders above the others and also brought key attributes to the side besides their batting, such as Dravid’s back up wicket keeping, Mohinder’s dibbly dobbly medium pacers and Kohli’s incredible fielding and running between the wickets.
The next three slots are for all rounders and a keeper and my choice is Yuvraj at six, Dhoni at seven and Kapil at eight. These are also near automatic choices, though I did also consider Ajay and Ravi Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Ravi Shastri, and Roger Binny as well.
The next three spots are the bowlers and they basically again pick themselves with Anil Kumble at nine, Zaheer Khan at ten and Javagal Srinath at eleven. The others I considered were Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav.
For twelfth man I was considering a pure specialist fielder, and the name of Mohammad Kaif instantly came to mind. The others I considered were Eknath Solkar, Robin Singh, and Ravi Jadeja.
The side is well balanced with right and left hand batsmen, big hitters, and those able to rotate the strike. The bowling is also well balanced for all conditions with two genuine quicks each capable of 90+ mph and a lefty righty combination to boot in Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath, backed up by the swing and seam of the incomparable Kapil Dev. As for spin it is mostly in the capable hands of Anil Kumble, with back up from Yuvraj Singh in a strictly part-time role. The main bowlers are also backed up by the medium paced swing and seam of Ganguly and Mohinder as well as the multi-dimensional spin of Sachin Tendulkar.
Finally, a word about the Captain and Vice Captain. My choice for captain is the legendary Kapil Dev, who as a twenty something year old, overcame 66-1 odds to inspire India to her first World Cup win. Although there are several other captains in the team, including the World Cup winning Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the World Cup finalist Sourav Ganguly as well as the flamboyant Virat Kohli, Kapil pips them all. And my choice for vice captain is the greatest team man, the selfless Rahul Dravid. Nobody could ask for a better lieutenant.
This side would give an all-time World Cup XI from any other country a run for its money.
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