Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has been quite vocal about many issues on social media these days. The BJP MP from East Delhi has been at the forefront of helping out people suffering due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
Gambhir had a fulfilling career from 2004-2016 in which he played 51 Tests, making 4154 runs with 9 centuries, 147 ODIs with 5238 runs, and 11 centuries. He also played 37 T20I matches with 932 runs and 7 half-centuries to his name. He also captained India in ODI format.
The Southpaw played a vital role in India’s 2007 T20 World Cup win and 2011 World Cup win, top-scoring in the finals of both the events and being the unsung hero of that journey.
Given that he played under some of the best captains India has seen in Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli and with a lot of amazing cricketers throughout his career, he decided to name his all-time Indian XI in Test matches. He started with Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag as openers for the team. Gavaskar was the first man to make 10,000 runs and 30 plus centuries in Test cricket, while Sehwag remains the only Indian to make two triple-hundreds in Test cricket. He also redefined what openers could do in the longer format.
He picked Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli in the middle order. All three have amazing records with Dravid being a wall for the Indian team for almost all of his career. Tendulkar holds the record for most Tests (200), most runs (15921), most centuries (51), and many more and deservedly is regarded as an all-time legend of the game.
Kohli is walking in the footsteps of Tendulkar on becoming a legend himself with a stellar record to his name in the red-ball format.
Kapil Dev, the greatest all-rounder India has ever produced and first Indian bowler to pick 400 Test wickets, comes in next. He is also the only cricketer to pick more than 400 wickets and score more than 5,000 runs in Test cricket. MS Dhoni was chosen as the wicketkeeper of the team and given his powerful batting prowess at the end, he remains the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman India has ever had.
Two of the greatest Indian modern spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble were also named by Gambhir. Harbhajan has more than 400 wickets in 104 Tests, and two Test centuries to his name. Kumble, on the other hand, picked 619, the most wickets by an Indian in Tests, and holds the record for the second-best bowling figures in an innings in a Test -10/74 against Pakistan in 1999.
Next, come in Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath to finish off the XI. With 311 Test wickets to his name, Zaheer Khan has well and truly established himself as the great of the game and his skills and ability were second to none during his playing days.
Javagal Srinath was regarded as perhaps the first true fast bowler to emerge out of India after the likes of Mohammad Nissar in the 1930s. Srinath picked 236 wickets in 67 Tests and his best bowling figures were 8/86 against Pakistan in 1999.
Gambhir's all-time Test XI for India:
Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni (WK), Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble (C), Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath