All-Time Greatest ODIs XI: India, over the decades, have produced some game-changing players across all the formats. A total of 231 players have represented the two-time ODI World Cup winners since 1974, but which 11 will make it count. However, no place for the other Indian team stars like Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Suresh Raina. Take a look at the all-time greatest ODI XI as stated below in the article.
From a team point of view, several sides have performed outstandingly during this period. India, along with Australia, and South Africa has been few such teams to do so. The 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup champions have played a positive and biggest brand of cricket. India won a few significant tournaments this century, such as the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil, Twenty20 World Cup in 2007, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
In an all-time India ODIs XI, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, and Anil Kumble walk in. Many would advise for Sourav Ganguly to be Tendulkar’s opening partner.
There are no surprises for the first name on this team. It is that of a certain the ''God of Cricket'' Sachin Tendulkar, who was selected to play for India at the age of just 16. The right-hander was a consistent run-scorer for India during a stellar 23-year career from 1989 to 2012.
One of the hallmarks of Tendulkar's career was his impeccable gift of timing rather than hitting the ball hard. He was the first player to score a double century in ODIs, not surprisingly, has the most runs (18426) by any player in ODI history.
Saurav Ganguly, who has the second-most number of centuries for India. He can slot in No. 3, where he played in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Tendulkar and Ganguly both added 8227 runs together at an average of 47.55 with 26 centuries and 29 fifty-run stands. They have scored 2235 runs more than the next most runs partnership in ODI history. They also have the fourth-highest opening partnership of all-time with 258.
Indian cricket team current skipper Virat Kohli is a modern-day legend with his temperament, class, technique, and natural talent. He scored consistently for Team India which makes him a part of the all-time greatest ODI XI.
Run Machine Virat Kohli must prefer to bat at No. 3 slots. He is the second-fastest to make 20 ODI centuries and is one of just two Indian batsmen to average over 50. He has a strike rate of 89.73, which shows that he is capable of scoring at a much high rate. If an early wicket falls then he showed be promoted above Ganguly as he is a better player of pace but Ganguly is a better player of spin.
Virat Kohli, who made his ODI debut in 2008, has scored 11867 runs in 248 matches at a fabulous average of 59.33. The right-hander's 43 ODI hundreds are only behind that of compatriot Tendulkar's 51 in the all-time list.
Kohli is the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup winner, having been part of the team that beat Sri Lanka in the final to win their 2nd title in the tournament after 28 years.
'Hitman' Rohit Sharma has emerged as one of the most destructive batsmen of the modern era. He times the ball with such ease and can convert his centuries into really big scores. His six-hitting abilities will be a bonus for the team as he has struck 244 sixes in his ODI career thus far.
Sharma also holds the record for the highest individual score of 264 in an ODI inning. He became the first and only batsman to score five centuries in a single edition of the World Cup, the feat he achieved in 2019. With him and Sehwag at the top, the top-order looks solid and brutal.
Rohit Sharma played 224 ODIs and scored 9115 runs with an average of 49.27 with 29 centuries and 43 50s. Although he is not handy with the ball, he had a hat-trick to his name in IPL way back in 2009.
The fight for the No. 5 spot is keen with Mohammad Azharuddin, Yuvraj Singh, and Suresh Raina all prop-up a claim in the middle-order.
India's most prolific left-hander Yuvraj Singh went on to fulfill his potential and cement his place as one of the greatest ODI players the country has ever had. When he retired from all forms of cricket in 2019, he had scored 8701 ODI runs in 304 matches at an average of 36.50. Yuvraj also took 111 wickets during his nearly two-decade-long career.
The left-hander was one of the architects of India's glorious ICC Cricket World Cup campaign on home soil in 2011. Yuvraj was the key success for Team India throughout the World Cup. He scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets in the tournament, was at the crease when captain MS Dhoni struck the winning six to seal the win. Yuvi was named Player of the Tournament with his all-round performances in the 2011 WC.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Former Indin team captain MS Dhoni made a reputation as one of the best finishers the game has ever seen, despite his unorthodox batting techniques.
Dhoni scored over 10,000 ODI runs in 350 matches, at an average of 50.60. Popularly known as ''Captain Cool''as he handles pressure situations at any stage of the game. So, MS Dhoni is the ideal man to take the No. 6 spots on this list. Dhoni has featured in 112 victorious when the team chasing the total, a most successful captain in Indian history as well after Saurav Ganguly.
The all-rounder’s spot surely goes to 'Haryana Hurricane' Kapil Dev. His iconic knock in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup eventually led to India lifting the cup for the first time. India was 17/5 at one stage and then charged down the captain himself, destroying the Zimbabwe bowling attack completely. He scored 175* off 138 balls which was the highest score in ODIs at that time. So. he will be the perfect all-rounder in the all-time greatest ODI team.
For the remaining spot for the spinners, there is little to choose from between Harbhajan Singh and R Ashwin, but Harbhajan gets the advantage over Ashwin because he is a more attacking bowler and also for his better strike-rate away from home. Harbhajan also used to bowl a lot of his overs in the Power Plays as well but still has a healthy economy rate.
Anil Kumble was unarguably India's most successful spinner of the 1990s, However, Harbhajan Singh took him over in the 21st century. Thus, the veteran spinner, who had the most no. of wickets by any Indian bowler in history, undoubtedly chosen him as the second spinner of this all-time greatest ODI XI.
One of the fastest bowlers to have represented India at the international level, Javagal Srinath. He could have achieved a lot more if it weren't for combating several injuries right through his playing days. He took 315 wickets in ODIs, most no. of ODI wickets, the second-highest for an Indian after Kumble and highest for an Indian seamer. One of the quickest seamer of his time. At his best, he was scary - occasionally used to hit in excess of 150 Kmp/h, something that was unheard of in those days.
Zaheer Khan, the highest ODI wicket-taker for India this century, comes in at No. 11 on this list. Arguably one of the best left-arm Indian fast bowlers to have played across all the formats. Also, his ability to swing the ball both ways goes in his favor. He has the most wickets in alien conditions and the joint-most in World Cups for India with Srinath.
Zaheer Khan took 282 wickets in 200 matches at an average of 29.42. It is the most by any Indian fast bowler in ODIs behind Javagal Srinath (315) and Ajit Agarkar (288).
There is no question about the captain. Only one man on this list has won the ICC Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy so, despite the likes of Sachin, Kohli, and Ganguly, it is MS Dhoni who will lead the team.
Look at here the All-Time Greatest ODI XI:
1) Sachin Tendulkar
2) Sourav Ganguly
3) Virat Kohli
4) Rohit Sharma
5) Yuvraj Singh
6) Mahendra Singh Dhoni* (C & Wk)
7) Kapil Dev
8) Harbhajan Singh
9) Anil Kumble
10) Javagal Srinath
11) Zaheer Khan