India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: Current combined Test XI
Not long ago, round about 70 years and a couple of months back, the now neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of an even bigger (and better) India. However, the partition in 1947 meant the nation was divided into two, and then in 1971, Bangladesh was formed after the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Though every facet of the country would have had a different outlook had the partition not happened, in this cricket-crazy belt, one couldn't help but think how things would have panned out in the cricketing scheme of things.
With Pakistan reaching the pinnacle of Test cricket last year, India following suit this year and Bangladesh's recent exploits in the longest format of the game, we decided to make an XI of the players who'd have been part of the Indian starting line-up had the partition not happened.
The batsman from Karnataka has forced himself in the Indian set-up on the back of consistent performances since making his debut in 2014. Three centuries in his first three test matches and an impressive IPL 2016 for RCB where he scored in excess of 400 runs cemented his position in all three formats of the game.
With at least one century in all three forms, Rahul has a healthy 46.27 test average with four centuries and nine half-centuries in 30 innings. He has slammed eight fifties in his last nine test innings and courtesy his remarkable consistency, he'd have fit perfectly the opening slot.
One of the most underrated batsmen in cricketing circles today, Azhar Ali has been churning out runs without much of a fuss. Two double hundreds and a triple hundred 62 matches into a test career is no mean feat and add to that an average of 46.62.
The burly opener was one of the main architects in Pakistan's rise to the top of test rankings last year. Even though the 'Boys in Green' have come tumbling down the rankings this year, Ali has continued his rich vein of form with three half-centuries, two centuries and a double hundred in his last seven matches.
He would walk into this team, without two thoughts.