Sunil Gavaskar names his all-time strongest India-Pakistan Test XI
Gavaskar didn't pick the likes of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.
Updated - May 17, 2020 12:43 pm
Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian cricketer, has zeroed in on his best Test eleven, combining the Indian and Pakistan cricketers. To start with he picked Hanif Mohammad and Virender Sehwag as his openers. Way back in 1958, Mohammad churned out 337 runs against the West Indies and it remains to be the highest individual score for Pakistan even after 62 long years.
Inzamam-ul-Haq got close, scoring 329, but couldn’t surpass the massive tally. Sehwag, on the other hand, was the first triple centurion for India in Tests back in 2004 against Pakistan in Multan. At number three, Gavaskar went for Zaheer Abbas, who scored 19 centuries and 33 half-centuries for the national team. At four, he went for Sachin Tendulkar, who has 100 tons for India.
In 1989, Sachin made his debut against Pakistan and from there, he didn’t look back. Even after six years following his retirement, a number of his records remains unscathed. Gundappa Vishwanath followed the Master Blaster in Gavaskar’s eleven. The right-hander had 6,080 runs with 14 tons and 35 fifties. Kapil Dev and Imran Khan are the genuine all-rounders in the playing eleven.
The duo is regarding as two of the best all-rounders to have played the game. They also have won the World Cup in 1983 and 1992. Even currently, a number of aspiring cricketers look up to them for inspiration. Nevertheless, he didn’t go for the likes of Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. Being two of India’s most successful cricketers, it was a surprise after Gavaskar overlooked them.
No specialist Indian bowler in the eleven
As the keeper, Gavaskar picked Syed Kirmani. The now 70-year-old didn’t have overly astonishing numbers as a batsman, having scored 2759 runs with two centuries and 12 fifties. But that he took 160 catches and effected 38 stumpings in his career made him a more than efficient wicket-keeper.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are the specialist fast bowlers. Akram is currently Pakistan’s all-time highest wicket-taker with over 900 scalps. Even Waqar used to terrorise batters with his pace and swing. The wily Abdul Qadir, who passed away last year, is Gavaskar’s specialist spinner.
Here is Sunil Gavaskar’s eleven:
Hanif Mohammad, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Abbas, Sachin Tendulkar, Gundappa Viswanath, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Syed Kirmani, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir