New Delhi: Kapil Dev on Thursday announced his all-time best Indian ODI team and not a single player of the historic 1983 World Cup triumph finds a place in his XI.
The legendary all-rounder picked Mahendra Singh Dhoni to lead the side comprising players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Mohammad Azharuddin, Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath. Ravindra Jadeja has been named the 12th man.
“I feel this is India’s best ODI team. People can disagree with me but that’s my personal view. We won the 1983 World Cup, but the fact remains that West Indies were by far the better side. We were just confident of doing well on that given day,” Kapil said.
Kapil felt that since he was selecting the team, he did not feel it appropriate to include himself in the team.
“If I am selecting the side, how can I include myself in it?” the 54-year-old former captain said.
Kapil said the team, which won the Champions Trophy in England this year, is the best-ever ODI team in the history of Indian cricket.
“The team did not have key players like Sehwag, (Gautam) Gambhir and Zaheer but they never let their absence affect them. West Indies are still missing the likes of Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes,” he said.
“I have never seen such an exceptional fielding side in the history of Indian cricket. The Champions Trophy title is the ultimate tribute to this team.”
Kapil also had words of appreciation for India’s new batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan and compared the hard-hitting left-hander to Sehwag.
“Shikhar has been outstanding from his very first match. I had never thought there would be someone who can hit the ball better than Sehwag,” he said.
With the present team sporting a settled look, Kapil feels it would be tough for seniors like Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Zaheer to make a comeback.
“Nothing is impossible but they need to have patience. The competition would be tough because and age is also not in their favour,” he added.
Ganguly for Jadeja
Ganguly also picked his all-time best ODI team with his surprise choice being Ravindra Jadeja as an all-rounder.
“He has shown tremendous form in the last few months. He can bat well and is also a great bowler,” Ganguly said.
“Ravi Shastri could have made it to the team in Jadeja’s place but I guess in the later stage of his career he was more of a batsman.”
Dev’s ODI team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Azharuddin, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Ravindra Jadeja (12th Man)
Ganguly’s gang: ODI XI — Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Ravindra Jadeja, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Rahul Dravid (12th man)
TEST XI — Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, VVS Laxman (12th man) * Test XI is based on post-independence period