All-time XI of Indian team in Test Cricket

India has come a long way from being the underdogs in Tests to rule the longer format for half a decade now. This transition has been possible due to a large pool of legends who ignited the love of cricket in the Indians and continue to fuel it to date. So, today we bring together these legends who played a substantial role in the evolution of Indian Cricket in the longer format and integrate them in an all-time XI of India in Test Cricket.

All-time XI of India in Test Cricket:


Among the pool of talented Indian openers, two stand out the most. The first one is none other than “The Nawab of Najafgarh” Virender Sehwag. Sehwag is the 5th highest run-scorer for India in Tests with 8503 runs and 23 centuries. Out of these, he scored 8124 runs and 22 centuries as an opener. He is probably the only cricketer that bowlers feared bowling to in Test Cricket. Sehwag scored two triple centuries and four double centuries and maintained a strike rate of over 80 in his Test career.

Since Sehwag used to be an attacking opener, we need to pair him with another opener with a contrasting playing style. And who could be better than the legendary Sunil Gavaskar for this job? After all, he was one of the best openers to ever play for India. His technical approach to the game made him an immovable force in his era. Gavaskar accumulated 10122 runs averaging 51.12 in his Test career, making him the all-time 3rd highest run-scorer for India in Tests. Apart from this, Gavaskar is also the highest run-getter among Indian openers. Therefore, he would be a perfect opener for this all-time XI of India in Test Cricket.


It is impossible not to mention Rahul Dravid‘s name when discussing the Indian middle order in Test Cricket. Dravid’s defense was one of the best India had ever seen, and that earned him the title of “The Wall” of Indian Cricket. Rahul Dravid made the second most Test appearances for India. He played 163 Tests and scored 13265 runs at an average of 52.63. You get to see a consistent batter like that once in a decade or two. Therefore, a calm head like Dravid is an ideal representation of a Test batter.

The ideal choice for the second middle-order batter is Virat Kohli(c). The greatest of the modern era is a cricketing genius both in terms of his batting and game knowledge. Kohli has scored 7490 runs and averages 52.37 with 27 centuries from 91 Tests. Apart from these astonishing numbers, Kohli has also proved himself as a great leader. Under him, India reclaimed the Test mace in 2017 and has retained it for five straight years now. So, he is the most deserving candidate for captaining this all-time XI of India.

The OG GOAT is the third middle-order batter in this all-time XI of India in Test Cricket. Sachin Tendulkar‘s Test triumphs don’t require much introduction. The only player to play 200 Tests, highest runs in International Test Cricket and most centuries in Test Cricket are a few among his long list of records. With 15921 runs stacked at an average of 53.72 with 51 centuries and 68 half-centuries, Tendulkar is easily the most obvious choice in this all-time XI of India in Test Cricket.

After including five batters, this XI needs a wicketkeeper-batsman to wrap up the middle order. And no one can be a better fit to fill this void other than MS Dhoni(wk). Dhoni has made the most Test appearances for India as a designated wicketkeeper. He donned the gloves for India in 90 Tests. Dhoni also credits for the most Test dismissals made by a wicketkeeper for India(294). Apart from his glovework, Dhoni also has six centuries and 4876 Test runs, which is better than any other Indian wicketkeeper-batsman.


After wrapping up the middle-order, it is time to move on to the second half of this all-time XI of India in Test Cricket. So, the first all=rounder to get a spot in this XI is the legendary Kapil Dev. Since India has produced only a few pace bowling all-rounders, Kapil Dev is the only noteworthy contender in Tests. 

Kapil Dev amassed 5248 runs in his career, averaging over 31 from 131 Test appearances. In these 131 matches, he also managed to score eight Test centuries. With the ball in his hand, Kapil Dev took 434 Test wickets with a bowling average of 29.64, including 23 five-wicket hauls. With these figures, he became the highest wicket-taker for India during his time and still is the 2nd highest after Kumble.

The second in this category is Ravichandran Ashwin. The only bowler who threatens Anil Kumble’s title of India’s greatest spinner of all time. Ravi Ashwin is a bowling mastermind and has taken wickets for India even in unfavourable conditions. In just 78 Tests, he has taken 409 wickets at a bowling average of 24.69. With the bat, he has scored 2656 runs with five Test centuries and is good at playing spin. His all-round skillset increases the batting depth and strengthens the bowling attack of this all-time XI.


After adding eight players to this all-time XI of India, it’s time to move on to the bowlers. The first in line is India’s greatest spinner of all time, Anil Kumble. Kumble still sits at the pinnacle of Indian bowling as the highest wicket-taker for India in Tests. He took 619 wickets in his career with a bowling average of 29.65 from 132 Test matches. Kumble is also among the only two bowlers in the history of cricket to take all ten wickets in a single innings of a Test match. Therefore, he is the first-choice bowler for India’s all-time XI in Tests.

Moving on to the pacers, the second bowler to make it into this all-time XI is Zaheer Khan. Zaheer Khan is India’s 5th highest wicket-taker and one of the only three Indian pacers to take more than 300 wickets in Tests. He took 311 wickets from 92 matches in his Test career. Zaheer played a significant role during India’s rise in Test Cricket and was India’s lead pacer when they won their first Test mace in 2010. 

Ishant Sharma is the final member and the last bowler of this XI. He started as promising young talent with a towering height and ruthless pace. Even in the early stages of his career, he troubled the likes of great batters like Ricky Ponting. However, injuries and lack of form haunted Ishant around the mid of his career. But he bounced back and became India’s lead pacer playing a vital role in India’s ICC Test mace reclaim in 2017. Since then, he has been at the center of India’s newly found pace strength and has contributed a lot to India’s rise as one of the best Test teams in the world.

Back to top button