The Indian Cricket Dream Team: Who Would be The Perfect 11?
Cricket is something of a national obsession throughout India, and this has led to many discussions around who would make the perfect national team. Fantasy football is incredibly popular in countries where soccer is regarded as the “national sport”, and the percentage of men who bet on cricket from India is even higher than those who bet on football in most European countries. With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that Indian Cricket fans spend plenty of free time breaking down this topic and wondering who the perfect national team featuring players from throughout history could be.
The Current State of the Indian National Team
India are currently ranked as the best team in the world in T20I format cricket, 4th in ODI, and 3rd in Test format. It’s fair to say then that the team is already doing pretty well without the benefit of heroes from the past or other countries! Nevertheless, let’s investigate a few players who, if they were available to play for India right now, could return the Men in Blue to their world-record status of 1st in every category.
Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Sachin is a cricket legend, both in India and throughout the world. Many fans were disappointed when he eventually retired in 2013, but there is only so long you can be at the top of your game – he had already been active on the field for 25 years by this point. To see Tendulkar return to the Indian team in his prime would be a huge boost for the modern day team; he was a true all-rounder, a world-class batsman with decent bowling ability as well.
Sachin scored a total of 15,921 runs in test matches throughout his time on the Indian National Team.
Don Bradman (Australia)
Known as “The Don” – a term of respect, and later knighted for his services to Cricket, Don Bradman is one the most iconic sportsmen in Australian history. A BBC poll delivered the verdict that he is the greatest batsman ever to grace the cricket field, with a completely extraordinary batting average of 99.94 – unparalleled in the modern game.
Bradman was active between 1927 and 1949, so the fact we are still talking about him today shows just how great this player truly was.
Garfield Sobers (West Indies)
Another all-rounder who was eventually knighted for the sporting success he brought to his country, Garfield was an accomplished bowler, with a devastating fast ball and a surprising spin technique that caught many a batsman off guard, taking 235 test wickets over the lifetime of his career. He was active between 1952 and 1974, scoring 8,032 test runs during that time.
Sir Ian Botham (England)
One of the greatest British Cricketers of all time would surely help boost India’s current presence on the field. Ian is a well-known commentator on the game today, but not everyone is also aware that he plays a part in British politics too as he has a seat in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament. Sir Ian was a naturally gifted sportsman who excelled at football whilst at school and even made several appearances for Scunthorpe United, a lower-division club, before deciding that Cricket was the sport for him.
In First Class Cricket, Botham scored 19,399 runs which included a massive 38 centuries over his professional career. He played on the English National Cricket Team between 1976 and 1992.
Brian Lara (West Indies)
Why not one more all-time great, just to be sure? Active between 1990 and 2007 for the West Indies National Team, Brian Lara has some of the highest stats ever recorded in First-Class cricket at 22,156 runs and 65 centuries. He also boasts an impressive 11,953 test runs scored including 34 centuries. Lara was primarily known for his batting prowess, but he could also bowl a good fast ball when needed and holds the world record for the highest individual score in a Test innings at a frankly ridiculous 400 runs.
So, how do you think these players would improve India’s chances on the cricket field in 2022? Would you be more likely to place a bet on them against other world-class sides such as England, Australia, and New Zealand? And did we miss anyone important out? We’ll be listening out for your thoughts!