The magnificent five

Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Ganguly – who contributed the most during India’s Golden run in Test cricket


1. VVS Laxman – 59 & 281 v Australia, Kolkata 2001 - Batting IMPACT 12.2
(Series defining performance)

2. R Dravid – 270 v Pakistan, Rawalpindi 2004 Batting IMPACT 10.24
(Series defining performance)

3. R Dravid – 25 & 180 v Australia, Kolkata 2001 - Batting IMPACT 7.84
(Series defining performance)

4. R Dravid – 233 & 72 not out v Australia, Adelaide 2003 - Batting IMPACT 7.81
(Series momentum-changing performance)

5. V Sehwag – 309 v Pakistan, Multan 2004 – Batting IMPACT 7.14
(Series momentum-changing performance)

(NOTE: Dravid captained this match as a stand-in for an injured Ganguly)

The commencement of the Golden Age – this is the phase where every performance on this list is a series-defining one – for the first time in Indian cricket history. Not surprisingly, Dravid features in most of them, either as the lead or the main support act. Laxman is on top with the greatest performance ever by an Indian batsman and Tendulkar is narrowly missing, as his 193 at Leeds in 2002 is at no. 6.  

Notable omission: Dravid’s 148, Leeds 2002. It was he who laid the foundation for India in tough conditions after Sehwag got out early – with a 170-run partnership with Bangar (who made 68) and made things easier for the batsmen to follow –and for the only time, Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar all got centuries together. Despite the IMPACT points Dravid got for absorbing pressure and stabilising the early innings, the weight of Tendulkar’s extra runs edges him out very marginally (even though Dravid, perhaps rightly, got the Man-of-the-Match). Dravid’s impact in that match also reduced slightly because Bangar shared some of the impact with him.

Tomorrow, Part 2 (concluding part) of this series which looks at the next 7 years and then a final summing up (with some surprising conclusions).


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