These Are Five of the Best Cricketers to Have Played for India
India is a country that is completely obsessed with cricket. In fact, it is no exaggeration for us to say that cricket is more like a religion in India than it is a sport – anyone who has had a stellar career for the India national team will be looked at as some kind of god. There have been many great cricketers play for India down the years; we are going to take a look at five of the very best.
Sachin Tendulkar is not only a name that is known all throughout India, but it is a name that every single cricket fan around the world has heard of. If you were to state that Tendulkar was one of the best batsmen to ever step on a cricket field, we are sure that there would not be many who would disagree with you. To give you an idea as to just how good he was, he is the only cricketer to score 100 international hundreds. To add to this, he scored close to 16,000 Test runs and 18,000 runs in ODI. Whenever a team played India when Tendulkar was in his prime, he was the batsman that the opposition were most wary of.
However, despite his greatness, Tendulkar seemed to have one weakness and that was England’s James Anderson – he was dismissed by England’s greatest bowler 9 times in 14 Tests. This means that Anderson has the accolade of being the bowler that has managed to dismiss the “Little Master” the most times.
When it comes to articles about the best Indian cricketers, you can always bet on cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar to be on the list. In fact, if he is not on it, then we would question the validity of the list. Gavaskar burst onto the international stage in 1971 when India were touring the West Indies – he scored 774 runs in his debut series and after that he never looked back and went on to become one of the best opening batsmen that the cricketing world has ever had the honour of watching.
He played 125 Tests for India, and went on to score more than 10,000 runs, which included 34 hundreds. As a matter of fact, he was the first international cricket player to pass 10,000 runs. He is definitely seen as a god among men by fans of Indian cricket.
We have looked at two legendary Indian batsmen, so now we are going to take a look at the best all-rounder to play for India. Over the course of his career, he picked up close to 700 wickets and scored nearly 10,000 runs for country in all formats of the game. He was also the captain of the national side and was the man in charge when India claimed their very first Cricket World Cup title in 1983 – they beat West Indies in the final by 37 runs.
When he retired from the game in 1994, he did so as the player with the most Test wickets (434) in history. He would hold this record until it was beaten by Courtney Walsh in 2000. A record that he still holds is that he is the only cricketer to have collected over 400 wickets and score over 5,000 runs in Tests. There can be no doubt whatsoever that Dev is the best all-rounder to play for India.
Dravid is a very important figure in the history of India cricket not just because he was a quality batsman, but also because he helped the national team get through a bit of a crisis period. He was captain of the team from 2005 to 2007 and had to deal with the loss of a number of star players from the side. He led by example and had the skills to score runs on any type of pitch that was put in front of him.
Throughout the course of his career, he scored over 13,000 runs in Test cricket and scored close to 11,000 runs in the ODI format. He was nicknamed The Wall due to his ability to keep out balls that would have had most other batsmen walking back to the pavilion cursing their luck. To give you an idea of just how much of a limpet he was at the crease, he batted in Test cricket for 44152 minutes, which is the most time any International test player has spent at the crease.
When he completed his first century against Bangladesh in 2004, Dravid became the first cricketer to score centuries in all ten Test nations. He played in 286 Test innings for India and was never once out for a Golden Duck, which is another record that he has.
We are going to complete our list of the five best cricketers to play for India with Virat Kohli, who is the current Indian captain. Kohli is one of those rare batsmen who can perform in all three formats of the game. At the time of writing, he has over 7,000 Test runs, more than 12,000 ODI runs, and just under 3,000 T20I runs. By the time he calls it a day and hangs up his bat, he will probably have more than 30,000 runs in all formats of the game.
He is considered by many to currently be one of the best cricketers in the world right now, alongside the likes of Kane Williamson, Joe Root, and Steve Smith. In 2020, he was 66th on Forbes list of the top one hundred wealthiest athletes in the world, earning $26 million. He is the only cricketer to feature on their list.