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Greatest Indian Cricketers the World Has Ever Seen

Team India is playing cricket for not more than 8 decades, but yet it has probably given more great players than any other cricketing nation to date. If we start to check records of each and every good cricketer who played for the Indian cricket team this list will become endless. So we have made some strict rules and under that, we have chosen 10 great cricketers from India whom we can call legends of the game.

Fans of other cricketers may get disappointed by not finding their heroes in this list, but that doesn’t mean that we consider them below par or less important names in Indian cricket. We may include them in some other articles in the future.

So are you ready to travel with these greatest Indian cricketers the world has ever seen?

Vijay Hazare (Career: 1946-1953)

Along with Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare was considered to be India’s greatest batsman of that era. Apart from his brilliance in batting, Vijay Hazare was also a good captain, if not the great. He was captain of Team India when India defeated England for the first time ever in Test cricket. India won that match at Madras (now Chennai) by an innings and 8 runs. This game co-inside with the death of King George of England.

Career Stats of Vijay Hazare 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 30 52 2192 164* 47.65 9 7
Tests Bowling 30 43 20 4/29 61.00 142.00 0 0

 

Sunil Gavaskar (Career 1971 – 1987)

Perhaps not only India’s but one of the world’s best opening batsmen to date. He not only infused the belief in the team that we can play out the best fast bowlers of the world during his time, but also the will to win or even to draw a game which was not the case before him. Sunil Gavaskar’s main arsenal was his technique and that is why he could average as high as 60 against lethal fast bowlers of the West Indies at that time. Sunil Gavaskar is also considered to be one of the best captains of India and under him, India won the ‘Mini World Cup’ played in Australia in 1986.

Career States of Sunil Gavaskar

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 125 214 10122 236* 51.12 45 34
Tests Bowling 125 29 1 1/34 206.00 380.00 0 0
ODI Batting 108 102 3092 103* 35.13 62.26 27 1
ODI Bowling 108 4 1 1/10 25.00 20.00

 

Kapil Dev (Career: 1978 – 1994)

One of the best all-rounders the world has ever seen! Kapil Dev is the first world cup winning Indian captain as well. People can argue about his timing of retirement, but still, no one can deny the greatness Kapil Dev carries with him. There are many examples where Kapil Dev has either won or saved the games for India, either by his batting or with his bowling. No one can forget that catch Kapil Dev took of Sir Viv Richards at the Lord’s cricket ground during the 1983 world cup finals. His contemporaries like Imran Khan and Sir Richard Hedley also regard him as the best all-rounder they have ever saw.

Career Stats of Kapil Dev

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 131 184 5248 163 31.05 27 8
Tests Bowling 131 227 434 9/89 29.64 63.9 23 2
ODI Batting 225 198 3783 175* 23.79 95.07 14 1
ODI Bowling 225 221 253 5/43 27.45 44.20 1

 

Sachin Tendulkar (Career: 1989 – 2013)

The greatest batsman ever played cricket to date is Sachin Tendulkar, only Sir Don Bradman can argue with this statement. Sachin Tendulkar started his career at the age of 16 and played the game for the next two decades and ruled the game as a batsman. There was a time with Indian victory chances were hinging largely on Tendulkar’s presence at the wicket, and after his dismissals, many TV sets across India were got switched off. Sachin Tendulkar was such a genius cricketing brain that he developed his own leg-spinning bowling style and gave India many memorable wins with that. Sachin Tendulkar is the only cricketer in the world who has scored one hundred international 100s, and this record speaks volumes of his batting abilities.

Career Stats of Sachin Tendulkar 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 200 329 15921 248* 53.78 68 51
Tests Bowling 200 145 46 3/10 54.17 92.1 0 0
ODI Batting 463 452 18426 200* 44.83 86.23 96 49
ODI Bowling 463 270 154 5/32 44.48 52.2 2 0
T20I Batting 1 1 10 10 10.00 83.33 0 0
T20I Bowling 1 1 1 1/12 12.00 4.80 0 0

 

Rahul Dravid (Career: 1996 – 2012)

Rahul Dravid is part of the ‘Tri-Moorty’ that ruled Indian cricket from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s. Rightly called ‘The Wall’, Rahul Dravid’s defense was unbreakable in any situation. His mental strength was so good that even Australians sledge him lesser than any other cricketer. His master class at Eden Gardens with VVS Laxman that won the Test match for India after getting follow-on will be remembered by the Indian cricket fans for a long time. Rahul Dravid was also honored with the Player of The Year and the Test Player of The Year during the ICC Awards 2004. Rahul Dravid was also one of the best slip catchers of all time. He holds the highest slip catches (210) as on October 2012.

Career Stats of Rahul Dravid 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 164 286 13288 270 52.31 42.51 63 36
Tests Bowling 164 5 1 1/18 39.00 120.00 0 0
ODI Batting 344 318 10889 153 39.16 71.23 83 12
ODI Bowling 344 8 4 2/43 42.50 46.50

 

Sourav Ganguly (Career: 1996 – 2008)

When the discussion about one of the greatest captains India has produced will come in open, Sourav Ganguly will be part of that discussion for sure. From the dark days of match-fixing allegations, Sourav Ganguly made Indian cricketers world-beaters. He inserted that confidence in his players that we can win in foreign conditions as well. Previously Indian batting was relying heavily on Sachin Tendulkar but Sourav Ganguly found out some of the gems from smaller cities and brought the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni who could take the load of batting and defeat the opposition on their own.

Career Stats of Sourav Ganguly 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 113 188 7215 239 42.17 51.25 35 16
Tests Bowling 125 99 32 3/28 52.53 97.4 0 0
ODI Batting 311 300 11363 183 41.20 73.70 72 22
ODI Bowling 311 171 100 5/16 38.49 45.6 2

 

Anil Kumble (Career: 1990 – 2008)

The greatest leg spinner of the world of all time along with Shane Warne, Ritchie Benaud is arguably Anil Kumble. One would be surprised to know that despite being a leg spinner Anil Kumble’s main weapon was not his leg-spin but the subtle changes he used to make in his bowling speed. Anil Kumble was unplayable in spinning conditions, especially on sub-continental pitches. Anil Kumble is the only bowler after England’s Jim Laker, who has taken all 10 wickets in a single inning of Test cricket. In ODIs too Anil Kumble has performed many match-winning bowling performances.

Anil Kumble’s Career Stats 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 132 173 2506 110* 17.77 38.82 5 1
Tests Bowling 132 236 619 10/74 29.65 65.9 35 8
ODI Batting 271 136 938 26 10.53 61.06 0 0
ODI Bowling 271 265 337 6/12 30.89 43.0 2

 

Virendra Sehwag (Career: 2001 – 2013)

‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ and ‘Multan Ka Sultan’, these two adjectives are firmly attached with Virender Sehwag forever, because he has earned them with his heroics. He is the first triple century scorer in Test cricket for Team India, the feat he achieved at Multan during India’s tour of Pakistan. No matter what the situation is, no matter what format he is playing in, Virender Sehwag would only attack the bowlers and hit them hard, and that became the forte that gave him immense success. Virender Sehwag is one of the few Indian cricketers who have won both T20I and One Day International world cups.  Virender Sehwag is the only Indian cricketer who has received Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for his brilliant performance in 2008 that he retained in 2009 as well.

Career Stats of Virender Sehwag 

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 104 180 8556 319 49.34 82.23 32 23
Tests Bowling 104 91 40 5/104 47.35 93.2 1 0
ODI Batting 251 245 8273 219 35.05 104.33 38 15
ODI Bowling 251 146 96 4/6 40.13 45.7 0 0
T20I Batting 19 18 394 68 21.88 145.38 2 0

 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Career: 2005 – 2014)

If you want to add adjectives before Mahendra Singh’s name then you may add these three, ‘The greatest wicket-keeper of all time’, ‘The greatest captain of India’, and ‘The best finisher in ODIs of all time.’ Dhoni is also known as Captain Cool by his fans because as a captain he could remain calm and cool during any match situation whether he is fielding or batting. As a finisher, he would take the game deep and then suddenly change gears and would win the game for his team. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best captain of Team India till today because as a captain he has won T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup, Champions Trophy, and ICC Test Championship mace, all four major ICC trophies.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni Career Stats

Format No of Games Innings Runs / Wickets   Highest / Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 50s / 5 Wkts 100s / 10 Wkts
Tests Batting 90 144 4876 224 38.09 59.11 33 6
Tests Wicket Keeping 90 166 256 Catches 38 Stumpings
ODI Batting 350 297 10773 183* 50.57 87.56 73 10
ODI Wicket Keeping 350 345 321 Catches 123 Stumpings
T20I Batting 98 85 1617 56 37.60 126.13 0 2
T20I Wicket Keeping 98 97 57 Catches 34 Stumpings

 

Trust you liked this feature on the greatest Indian cricketers the world has ever seen. We would also like to know your views on this feature. Please also draw our attention towards the greatest Indian cricketers we have missed to add to this list.

You can give your views on the above in the comment section given below.

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