1. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, popularly holding the title “God of Cricket” among his fans. He has scored the highest amount of runs in both Test and One Day cricket in his 24 year long career. He became the first person in history to achieve the feat of scoring one hundred international centuries. In 2002 just half way through his career, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards. Later in his career, Tendulkar was a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India. The fact that he came out of his bad phases quick enough and managed to score runs over a long period of time makes him so special. He has played 200 Tests for India which is a record. He has also appeared in 463 ODIs. Tendulkar has 20 centuries, 11 in Tests and 9 in ODI, against Australia which is an impressive achievement.
2. Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar was the first Indian batsman who proved to the world that he can take on the aggressive fast bowling of the lethal West Indies pace attack.Gavaskar was widely admired for his technique against fast bowling, with a particularly high average of 65.45 against the West Indies. He was the second player after Doug Walters to score a century and double century in the same match. He also became the first Indian to make four centuries in one Test series, the second Indian after Vijay Hazare to score two centuries in the same Test, and the third after Hazare and Polly Umrigar to score centuries in three consecutive innings. He was the first Indian to aggregate more than 700 runs in a series, and this 774 runs at 154.80 remains the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman. Gavaskar was the first Test cricket player to make over 10,000 runs. He held the record for the highest number of test centuries (34) before Sachin Tendulkar went past him in 2005. He holds numerous other records. While Gavaskar could not be described as an attacking batsman, he had the ability of keeping the scoreboard ticking with unique shots such as the “late flick”. His focus of technical correctness over flair meant that his style of play was usually less suited to the shorter form of the game, at which he had less success.
3. Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly, known as Dada, is famous for his captaincy skills. Although he has over 11000 runs in ODI cricket, his aggressive mentality on the field turned the Indian team into a strong force who could defeat any opposition. After taking the captaincy of the team, which was affected by the match fixing scandal in 2000, Ganguly ensured his team fights toe to toe against stronger opponents. It started with the 2-1 win against Australia in the Test Series at home. His powerful captaincy impressed everyone. In his tenure between 2000 and 2005, Ganguly became India’s most successful Test captain. He led his team to victory on 21 occasions – seven times more than Mohammad Azharuddin with the second most wins—and led them for a record 49 matches—twice more than both Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar. Ganguly played off-side shots such as the square cut, square drive and cover drive with complete command. Rahul Dravid has called Ganguly “…next to God on the off-side.” In September 2005, Greg Chappell became the coach for the India tour of Zimbabwe. Ganguly’s dispute with him resulted in many headlines. Ganguly was dropped as the captain of the team, with Dravid taking his place. Following India’s poor batting display in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy and the ODI series in South Africa, in which they were whitewashed 4–0, Ganguly made his comeback to the Test team.Coming in at 37/4, Ganguly scored 83 in a tour match against the rest of South Africa, modifying his original batting style and taking a middle-stump guard, resulting in India winning the match. During his first Test innings since his comeback, against South Africa in Johannesburg his score of 51 helped India to victory, marking the first Test match win for the team in South Africa. Though India lost the series, Ganguly accumulated the most runs on the scoring chart. After his successful Test comeback he was recalled for the ODI team, as India played host to West Indies and Sri Lanka in back to back ODI tournaments. In his first ODI innings in almost two years, he scored a matchwinning 98. He performed well in both series, averaging almost 70 and won the Man of the Series Award against Sri Lanka. For Ganguly, competitiveness involved brinksmanship rather than training. As far as they were concerned Australia were not to be aspired to. They were simply to be toppled. England were not to be appeased. Victory lay precisely in their disapproval. In other words, Ganguly always wanted to do things his own way.
4. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev aptained the Indian cricket team which won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Named by Wisden as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002, Kapil Dev was one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. Kapil was a right-arm pace bowler noted for his graceful action and potent outswinger, and was India’s main strike bowler for most of his career. He also developed a fine inswinging yorker during the 1980s, which he used very effectively against tail-enders. As a batsman, he was a natural striker of the ball who could hook and drive effectively. A naturally aggressive player, he often helped India in difficult situations by taking the attack to the opposition. He is the only player in the history of cricket to have taken more than 400 wickets (434 wickets) and scored more than 5,000 runs in Tests,making him one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game. In the quarter final of the World Cup in 1983, Kapil scored 175 not out off just 138 balls against Zimbabwe after India were struggling at 140/8. This was an innings that included 16 boundaries and 6 sixes. The innings figures in the Top 10 ODI Batting Performances compiled by Wisden in February 2002at No. 4.
5. Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. Hailed as The Wall, Dravid was named one of the best five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 2000 and received the Player of the Year and the Test Player of the Year awards at the inaugural ICC awards ceremony in 2004. In December 2011, he became the first non-Australian cricketer to deliver the Bradman Oration in Canberra. He is only the second Indian cricketer, after Tendulkar to score 10,000 runs both in Tests and in ODIs. Dravid is known for his technique, and had been one of the best batsmen for the Indian cricket team. In the beginning, he was known as a defensive batsman who should be confined to Test cricket, and was dropped from the ODI squad due to a low strike rate. However in a period of his career, he began consistently scoring runs in ODIs as well, earning him the award of ICC Player of the year award. His nickname of ‘The Wall’ in Reebok advertisements is now used as his nickname. Dravid has scored 36 centuries in Test cricket at an average of 53.19; this included five double centuries. In one-dayers, he has an average of 39.49, and a strike rate of 71.22. He is one of the few Indians whose Test average is better at away than at home, averaging almost five runs more in foreign pitches.
6. Anil Kumble
Former international cricketer and captain of the Indian cricket team, Anil Kumble was a right-arm leg spin (leg break googly) bowler, he took 619 wickets in Test cricket and remains the third-highest wicket taker, only behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. Unlike his contemporaries, Kumble was not a big turner of the ball, rather relied much on pace and accuracy. His ability to make the ball bounce with subtle variations in pace made him a tough bowler to face for the batsmen. In October 1996,Anil Kumble along with Javagal Srinath helped India to win a scintiallating ODI match against Australia in Bangalore in Titan Cup.The duo added 52 runs for 9th wicket partnership,after Sachin Tendulkar got out at 88 when India was 164/8,chasing a target of 216 runs. India eventually went on to win the Titan Cup. Kumble is one of only two bowlers ever (the only other being Jim Laker of England in 1956) to have taken all ten wickets in a Test innings, taking 10 for 74. Kumble achieved this against Pakistan in the second Test played in Delhi in February 1999. Although by failing to dismiss Pakistan’s Waqar Younis in either innings, he missed out on the achievement of dismissing all eleven batsmen in a Test match. Kumble was appointed as the captain of the Indian Test cricket team on 8 November 2007. He succeeded his state team mate Rahul Dravid, who resigned as the captain in September 2007. He is the only leg spinner who became the captain of the team. His first series as captain of Indian Test team was a three-match series against Pakistan played in India. which the team won by 1–0.On 17 January 2008, in the third Test against Australia at WACA, Perth, Anil Kumble became the first Indian bowler and the third in the world to reach the milestone of 600 Test wickets. Kumble achieved the record just after the tea break when he had Andrew Symonds caught by Rahul Dravid at first slip. Kumble’s 600 wickets came in 124 matches at an average of 28.68. Kumble has captured most number of wickets against Australia by an Indian bowler.
7. MS Dhoni
The current captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers of the game in the limited over formats. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off 79 balls to take India to victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all the three ICC trophies. However under his captaincy India lost to England 0-4 in 2011 followed by losing 0-4 to Australia. In the recently conclude series, India lost 1-3 to England raising questions about his captaincy in Test cricket. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the 2011 World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, chasing 275, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order, coming before Yuvraj Singh. When he came to bat India needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. He started building a good partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Due to good strokeplay and active running between wickets, they kept up with the required run rate. Dhoni was on 60 off 60 balls, but later accelerated with a greater flow of boundaries, ending with 91 not out off 79 balls. Befitting the occasion, he finished the match of in style with a huge six over long-on off bowler Nuwan Kulasekara and won Man of the Match. Later in the post match presentation, he admitted that he came up the order so as to counter the spin threat of Muralitharan as he was very familiar with Murali’s bowling, who was his team-mate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings. He had come after the dismissal of Virat Kohli, also a right-handed batsman. By partnering the left-handed Gambhir, he ensured a right-left combination at the crease that makes it difficult for bowlers to settle into a rhythm. The bat used by Dhoni in the final match was sold for Rs 72 Lakhs. The money goes to Sakshi Rawat Foundation, operated by Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.
8. Ravi Shastri
Former Indian cricketer and captain Ravi Shastri was an all–rounder who batted right-handed and bowled left arm spin. His international career started when he was 18 years old and lasted for 12 years. He started his career purely as a bowler but gradually became more of a batsman who could bowl. Within eighteen months of his Test debut, Shastri had moved up from tenth position in the batting order to being an opening batsman. “His calm, sensible batting lower in the order”, wrote Wisden, commenting on his first series, “raised promise of his developing into a useful all–rounder, and his fielding too was an asset”. By the end of his career, he had batted in every position from one to ten In the World Championship of Cricket in Australia, For his 182 runs and 8 wickets, Shastri was chosen as the man of the series which in this tournament was called ‘The Champion of Champions’. He won an Audi 100 car for his efforts. By the special order of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Indian customs waived the heavy duty its import would have normally entailed.
9. Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh is an all-rounder who bats left-handed in the middle-order and bowls slow left-arm orthodox. In 2002, ndian team toured England in June for the NatWest triangular series and a four-match Test series against the hosts. The NatWest Series featured teams from England and Sri Lanka, apart from India. The final was played at Lord’s on 13 July between India and England. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, England posted a daunting total of 325/5 in 50 overs. In reply, India were struggling at 146/5 at the end of 24 overs, when Kaif joined Yuvraj at the crease. The pair initially stabilised the innings and later scored at a brisk rate. The duo shared a partnership of 121 runs for the sixth wicket and Yuvraj scored 69 (63 balls). India went on to win the game by two wickets with three balls to spare. This was India’s first win in the final of an ODI tournament since 2000, after nine consecutive defeats. This win is regarded as one of India’s greatest victories in ODI cricket. On 19 September 2007 against England in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Super 8 match held at Kingsmead in Durban, he hit 6 Sixes in an over off Stuart Broad. This helped him to reach the fastest fifty ever in a Twenty20 game, off just 12 balls and also the fastest in any form of international cricket. This was the fourth time that six sixes had been hit in one over in senior cricket, the first time in Twenty20 cricket, and the first time in any form of international cricket against a bowler from a Test playing nation. World Cup 2011 was dream for Yuvraj as he scores 362 runs including one century and four fifties takes 15 wickets, wins four Man-of-the-Match awards and is also Player of the Tournament. In the process, he becomes the first allrounder to score 300-plus runs and take 15 wickets in a single World Cup.
10. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag is an aggressive right-handed opening batsman and a part-time right-arm off-spin bowler, he played his first One Day International in 1999 and joined the Indian Test team in 2001. Sehwag holds multiple records including the highest score made by an Indian in Test cricket (319), which was also the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket (reached 300 off only 278 balls) as well as the fastest 250 by any batsman (in 207 balls against Sri Lanka on 3 December 2009 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai). His other innings of 309 and 293 are also the second and third best by any Indian player. Sehwag also holds the distinction of being one of four batsmen in the world to have ever surpassed 300 twice in Test cricket, and the only one to score two triple centuries and take a five-wicket innings haul.In March 2009, Sehwag smashed the fastest century ever scored by an Indian in ODI cricket, from 60 balls. On 8 December 2011, he hit his maiden double century in ODI cricket, against West Indies, becoming the second batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to reach the landmark. His score remains the highest individual score in ODI cricket – 219 off 149 balls. He is the only player in the world to score a double hundred in ODI and a triple hundred in Test Cricket.