All-time best India XI in ODI Cricket history

The Indian cricket team over the years has grown to be a powerhouse in the truest sense in the world of cricket. And, in the process there have been many cricket players who have come in and contributed to the team’s success, earning a lot of affection and fame in the process. So, here’s a look at the all-time best India XI in ODI cricket history.

Openers (Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag)

Arguably one of the most iconic opening duos in the history of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are the designated openers of this all-time best India XI in ODI cricket history.

Both these batsmen when in their playing days complemented each other’s styles perfectly and made sure that the Indian cricket team got off to great starts when they were on the crease. In ODIs, Sachin played 463 games for India where he made and broke several records, while scoring 18,426 runs, including 49 centuries. He also managed to pick up 154 wickets with the ball too. And Virender Sehwag, in his own right was no less than his batting partner, as he, in his 251 ODIs scored 8,273 runs in total and managed to pick up 96 wickets.

Middle Order (Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni)

The four players making up the middle order of this all-time best India XI in ODI cricket history are Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and MS Dhoni. All these four players undoubtedly are some of the greatest players to have graced the game of cricket over the years.

Ganguly and Dhoni are the two most decorated captains in the history of the game, with Dhoni being the only one in the world to win all the three ICC tournaments. Even as individuals, these two had the numbers with them. Ganguly played in 311 ODI matches where he got a total of 11,363 runs under his belt and in addition to that, picked up 100 wickets too. Dhoni, with both the bat in hand and while with the gloves on and behind the stumps, did similarly well. He played in 350 ODIs for the Indian cricket team, and scored 10,773 runs, and had 321 catches and 123 stumpings to his name too. As captains, Ganguly won 76 and lost 66 games, while Dhoni, on 110 and lost 74 games.

Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli, unlike other entrants in this list, may seem to have batting stand out as their signature skill set. But there’s much more to them. Both apart from being legendary batsmen with beautiful stroke play, are contributors to the Indian team’s success in other ways too. Dravid in the 344 matches where he was a part of the Indian team, kept wickets for the team, bowled occasionally, and did every other thing that the team needed him to do, and while doing all of this, he scored 10,889 runs in total. Kohli on the other hand has contributed to the Indian team with the bat in hand, as a fielder, and now as the captain of the side. He so far has played in 254 ODI games and has scored 12,169 runs at an average of 59.07.

All Rounders (Yuvraj Singh, Kapil Dev)

The first captain to win India the ICC Cricket World Cup, and the star of India’s second tournament win in 2011, Kapil Dev and Yuvraj Singh are the two all-rounders in this all-time best India XI in ODI cricket history.

Hailed to be the ‘Prince of Indian Cricket’, Yuvraj was a force to reckon with when he was on the field during his playing days. Yuvraj, while being a sublime stroke maker was an equally skilled spin bowler, who could wreak havoc in the opposition camp with the bat and the ball in hand. Kapil was similarly skilled too and sent chills down the spines of the players playing against him with his pace bowling and batting skills. The only extra feather in the hat of Kapil Dev was the captaincy skills that he had.

 Both these players retired from the Indian cricket team with prolific records to their name. In the 304 games where Yuvraj was a part of the Indian playing XI, he scored 8,701 runs in total and took 111 runs, while stopping a countless number of runs as a fielder. Kapil Dev on the other hand scored 3,783 runs and had to his name 253 wickets in total during the course of the 225 matches that he played for the Indian cricket team.

Bowlers (Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Venkatesh Prasad)

The bowling unit of this all-time best India XI in ODI cricket history is made up of the likes of Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, and Venkatesh Prasad. All of these played in what can be termed as one of the most exciting times of the Indian cricket team in the world of the sport.  

While Venkatesh Prasad and Zaheer Khan tormented the batsmen facing them with pace, Harbhajan with his spin bowling tricked them on every delivery asking them some of the most difficult questions on the cricket field with the ball in hand. All three when put together at least in theory, could bowl against any batting lineup in the world at any given time with the success that we had become used to when they actually were a part of the Indian cricket team’s dressing room.

Zaheer Khan played in 200 ODIs, Harbhajan played in 236 games and Prasad played in 161 games for India, and they had 282, 269, and 196 wickets in total to their names total respectively. Zaheer and Harbhajan were actually decent with the bat too, with the former having 792 runs to his name and Harbhajan scoring 1,237 runs in total.

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