Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman revealed his best India XI of the last 25 years against England for overseas matches. The stalwarts of Indian cricket are included in the team but at the same time, some popular cricketers such as Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma are missing.
For the opening slot, Laxman chose the combination of aggression and passion by picking up Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay. Laxman said that Vijay knew where his off-stump is and this trait is important in England.
In the middle order, Laxman picked Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Saurav Ganguly. According to Laxman, Dravid is the best number three batsmen India produced in the last 25 years while Ganguly always loved batting in England. Laxman didn’t forget to mention about Ganguly’s medium-pace bowling which was effective in England.
Virat Kohli too got a place in the team courtesy of his flamboyant and incredible performance in the on-going Test series but interestingly there is no mention of Ajinkya Rahane who was one of India’s best performers in the 2014 tour. In fact Rahane has scored more runs that Sehwag and Vijay in England.
Choosing the wicket-keeper would have been an easy decision for Laxman as barring MS Dhoni no Indian wicket-keeper has done well in England in the recent past.
In the bowling department, the former Indian batsman picked 3 seamers and only one spinner considering the conditions in England. Anil Kumble was picked ahead of Harbhajan Singh and R Ashwin as Kumble is ‘more versatile’ and his batting is handy as well. Laxman pointed out that Kumble’s only Test hundred came in England.
The pace bowling department Laxman chose Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All these three bowlers are known for producing swing and have performed well in England. But Ishant Sharma who has bowled some memorable spells in England missed out. In fact among all Indian pacers, Ishant has the most wickets in England.
And for the captaincy role, Laxman picked Ganguly over Kohli and Dhoni as Laxman felt that Ganguly had the ability to get the best from any player. Laxman said he still cannot forget the way Ganguly led the team in the 2002 series.