All-time West India Test XI
Unarguably, the Western part of India has contributed the most number of world-class cricketers to the national Test team. With an astonishing combined tally of more than 50 Ranji Trophy titles, teams from this region have ruled the roost in India's domestic circuit. Mumbai (earlier Bombay), Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra (earlier Nawanagar) and Baroda are the five sides competing from the West Zone.
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With countless legendary names in contention, convening an all-time Test team containing players from Western part of India is not an easy task. The fact that remarkable cricketers like Vijay Merchant, Polly Umrigar, Ajinkya Rahane and Nayan Mongia among others miss out gives an indication of the stellar strength of this star-studded side.
Let us assemble a dream Test team comprising of the best cricketers to emerge from sides representing the West Zone in India.
One of the two spots in this section is reserved for the imperious Sunil Gavaskar. The technically unparalleled right-hander is a strong contender for the opening position in an all-time World Test XI. With his impressive record and indelible legacy, he strolls into this playing eleven. Having an accomplished batsman like him at the top of the order augurs well for the rest of the lineup who can rely on him to see out the testing new-ball spells.
Selecting Gavaskar's batting partner is not a straightforward one. Even though Farokh Engineer scored more than half of his career Test runs from the top of the order, the prospect of burdening the wicket-keeper with an opening slot does not seem to be a feasible option. The iconic Vijay Merchant would be an ideal candidate were it not for the intense competition for spots in the middle-order.
Hence, Cheteshwar Pujara moves one position above his preferred number three slot and partners Gavaskar at the top of the order. Since the Saurashtra batsman played his best innings thus far (unbeaten 145 on a seaming track at Colombo against Sri Lanka in 2015) as an opener, he gets the highly coveted spot.
Openers: Sunil Gavaskar (Mumbai) and Cheteshwar Pujara (Saurashtra)