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Bagapath's Greatest XI

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Shivvers' reaction when told that he had controversially been overlooked for the spinners position in baggy's team:

 

bagapath

International Captain
Two of the top 3 batsmen of 70s and 80s - two of the top 10 of all time - complete my top order.

I can't remember a time when I didn't know Sunil Gavaskar's name. Around 1978 when I was four and started understanding this treacherous depressing world little by little, Sunny was, along with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Superstar Actor Amitabh Bachchan, the most famous personality in our country of 500 million people. He was all over our newspapers, magazines, radio and hoardings. Hell! He was even featured in commercials they played in movie houses.

Sunil Gavaskar was the fathers of Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni combined in terms of popularity. Now, with more than double that population in India, he is still going strong on TV and internet. By the time we picked up our TV in 1985, Gavaskar had already gone past Bradman's record of 29 centuries and Boycott's aggregate runs. He had already scored big hundreds against Roberts, Holding, Willis, Imran, Marshall, Garner, Botham etc and was widely known as the greatest opening batsman since Hobbs and Hutton.



Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct
125 214 16 10122 236* 51.1234 45 26 108


I don't think I have ever seen anyone looking more perfect at the wicket. He was compact and beautifully placed at the crease to go forward or back. To drive or cut or to leave the ball at the last nano second - an act he perfected like no body else.

Shouldering the responsibility of a not so great batting order, Sunny learnt to spend hours on the pitch negating over after wicket taking over from star bowlers, making it a personal battle between him and the opposition challenging them with his superhuman powers of concentration, focus and technically perfect batsmanship. This self-belief led him to many nasty confrontations with authorities and one or two with the opposition. But I actually like him more for this acerbic quality. His was a celebrated career and he faces the first ball for my team against anyone, anywhere in the world. His technical mastery and steady hands will provide the foundation for my star batsman to come in and play his natural game at no. 3.
 
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bagapath

International Captain
Anyone who watched Viv Richards bat would swear he was the greatest batsman that ever lived. He probably was. Who else would bludgeon great bowlers with classical cricket strokes and brutalize their bowling figures with such regularity? Who else could play with a straight bat but beat the field at will on swinging, bouncing, turning wickets alike? Who else walked to the crease with such panache and delivered more than whatever is promised by that stylish gait and arrogant look? The answer is: No one else.



I wanted Lara to bat at five because I think it would be risky to have Viv and Brian batting together all the time. They both were such dominant personalities that they might start to match each other stroke for stroke. It would certainly be a connoisseur's delight. But it would also give the opposition bowlers more chances to get one of them out.

Yes, arrogance was Viv Richards' technical weakness. He would pulverize the star bowlers with his drives and cuts and pulls and the get out to a mediocre bowler's lollipop just out of boredom. I believe it is better to have Sachin bat in between these two maestros (Sachin himself being one but of a different mould) and allow both to blossom to their full potential. Viv' full potential would mean it would rain boundaries all around the wicket. And I have no complaints about that.

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct
121 182 12 8540 291 50.2324 45 84 122
 
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bagapath

International Captain
The team

1. Sunil Gavaskar
2. Gordon Greenidge
3. Sir Viv Richards
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. Brian Lara
6.
7. Adam Gilchrist (wk)
8. Sir Richard Hadlee
9.
10. Shane Warne
11. Joel Garner
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
liking the team so far. Viv wasn't infallible. I remember one game where he blasted 27 off 20 balls in a test when there was no need for him to be so belligerent and then got out hooking. Still, the best 27 I have ever seen.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
I am uncertain what bagapath will do at six, a batsman or an allrounder. Probably a batsman since he already has gilchrist at 7 who would bat ahead of a mortal all rounder.
 

smalishah84

The Tiger King
wonderful write ups for both Sunny and Viv. Both giants of my early days of watching cricket and in all my years of watching cricket I haven't come across a better batsman than Viv.

Perfect description for Sunny. Although I think a mid to late 90s tendulkar would probably give his fame a run for his money
 

harsh.ag

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I am uncertain what bagapath will do at six, a batsman or an allrounder. Probably a batsman since he already has gilchrist at 7 who would bat ahead of a mortal all rounder.
Have you seen his avatar? But I think he may put Steve Waugh in there, a selection I would support very much indeed.
 
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harsh.ag

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
There isn't much between Curtly and Garner, though, a fact which makes me want to think of a day when the fielding side will be allowed upto 10 bowlers on the field, and the batting team, 10 specialist batsmen. Let the games begin then! Sparta!!
 

harsh.ag

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Marshall's a sure for. But I think he will select one between Steve Waugh and Jacques Kallis rather than Allan Border. I think Kallis would be perfect here. Good fifth bowler. As good a bat as Waugh and Border. Hope he doesn't put Botham because as he claims only the post-85 era is involved and Botham was average there. But, then so was Viv (well not average, but not the god he is claimed to be). So I don't know.
 
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andyc

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
TI can't remember a time when I didn't know Sunil Gavaskar's name.
Loving the write-ups mate, especially this for an opening line. Encapsulates a lot of what it is to grow up with the game and with your own personal idols within it.
 

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