India, the country where cricket is not just a game, rather it has established itself as a religion. And like every religion, cricket has its gods. The players who made this British game look like our creation. With their performance and dedication they made their permanent mark on the 22 yard pitch. So below are the best 10 Indian cricketers, the gods, gems and gentleman of the game, who made us proud and we salute them.
The best all-rounder India ever had and the first captain to be blessed with the world cup trophy. Kapil Dev Ramlaal Nikhanj, better known as ’Kapil Paji‘ played 356 matches in his 16 year long successful carrier and scored over 9000 runs with 687 wickets (including both test and one day). Interestingly he never got run out in his test carrier!! Quite a well runner i guess. He was named as Indian cricketer of the century by Wisden magazine. Kapil is the only player to score 4000+ runs and 400+ wickets in test. And his ICC rating of 631 is the highest for an all rounder.
Sunil Gavaskar : The Little Master
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, commonly known as ‘sunny’ was one of the best technical batsman of all time. His straight drive is still considered as classic and unmatchable. He was a great observer of the ball and was able to predict the delivery before the ball leaving the bowlers’ grip, which helped him to score more than 13000 runs in his international career with an average of 51.12 in test. He is the only batsman to score a double ton in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings of a test match. Sunny also is one and only to score 3 consecutive tons twice in his carrier and 1st player to score 10000+ runs. He wanted to be a wrestler but somehow found his destiny in cricket.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar
This innocent face was nightmare for bowlers for more than 2 decades. In his 24 year long international career Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar established almost every batting record, from highest run scorer to getting out in nervous 90’s maximum numbers of times. He has highest number of centuries and half centuries. He wanted to be a fast bowler but ended up being one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Sachin got the 1st ever double hundred in history of one day cricket adding one more laurel to his career. He was indeed the “God” of cricket.
Rahul Dravid – “The Wall”
Mr. Dependable, “The Wall” Whatnot? Rahul dravid was the most dedicated player of Indian cricket team. He was known as ‘the wall’ as it was very difficult for bowlers to take his wicket especially in test cricket. Rahul was a technically sound batsman and one of the best wicketkeeper. He took 210 catches in his career as a record of highest number of catches in international cricket. He is one of the two batsmen to score 10,000 runs at a single batting position. With his immense determination towards the game this guy is the true gentleman of cricket.
VVS ( Very Very Special) Laxman
The very very special Laxman was the wrist master in batting. His ability to play late cuts provided him an extra edge over the other batsmen. Laxman was born in a family with all working as medical professionals and so he was confused about his profession. But his trust in himself and his game allowed him to be best test batsman of India. Unfortunately his test as well as one day career started with 0, but this guy turned out to be a hero! After playing 17 test matches in 3 years he got his maiden ton against Australia scoring 167. Laxman always enjoyed playing against Australia when they were considered best in cricket and every time gave his best.
Jawagal Shrinath – “Babu”
Javagal Srinath was the spearhead of Indian pace attack. He was an outstanding right-arm pace bowler with devastating pace clocking 157 km/h against South Africa (1996) as his career best. And he became the nation’s fastest bowler. He had the ability to deliver superb incutters, inswingers, leg-cutters, slower deliveries, bouncers and reverse swing with the old ball. He used to bowl with a strong shoulder action. Javagal Srinath’s sterling performances are clearly revealed through his outstanding statistics, being amongst the world’s best bowlers to reach a haul of 300 One-day International wickets.
Virendra Sehwag: “Multan Ka Sultan”
“Viru” or “Prince of Najafgad” was the most devastating batsman of India. He was indeed the best opener batsman of the Indian Cricket team and people used to love his game to the soul. Sehwag is the only Indian batsman to score twice a triple century in test and is the second player to score a double ton after Sachin. He was never technically strong but his ability to judge the ball and power behind his shots made him ruthless against bowlers. His footwork is considered worst as he believed in stand and deliver with the strike rate of 85 in test and above 100 in ODI’s and T20’s.
Anil Kumble – The “Jumbo” of Indian Cricket
The master spinner of India with highest number of wickets for the country and 3rd in the world, Anil kumble is one of the most appreciated bowler of the world cricket. He is the 2nd player to take 10 wickets in an inning and his performance was considered 2nd all time best bowling by Wisden almanac. He was called ‘Jumbo’ by his teammates as being tall and muscled guy. He did civil engineering at the start of his career, but chose cricket to be his life.
Sourav Dada – The most Successful Captain
The one of India’s most successful captains ever. Sourav Ganguly will be remembered for his elegance in his game and vast contribution to Indian cricket in his 15 years long career. He was India’s most successful overseas captain, and he infused an unknown term in India that times known as ‘aggression’. The ‘DADA’ of Indian cricket was the master hitter of sixes and was also a good medium pace bowler and took 100 wickets in ODI’s.
Vijay hazare – The first gem
Not very popular but one of the 1st gem of Indian cricket Vijay Samuel Hazare played late in 1950’s for India. Indian team got his first test win under his captaincy. “Hazare was one of the most graceful batsmen it was my pleasure to see and perhaps the best compliment I can pay him is to say that his batting more closely resembled that of the great West Indian star Sir Frank Worrell, than anyone I can remember” Don Bradman. This were the words of Sir Don Bradman, who of course need no introduction as he is an institution in himself !
All the players mentioned above are retired now, but the memories they created through their games will thrive within the hearts of millions for decades.