India’s Best ODI XI of the 1980s
The 80s saw a major transformation in the landscape of Indian sports. The 1983 World Cup saw the underdogs stun the mighty West Indies team and clinch the coveted title.
Kapil Dev and his men became overnight heroes as they had brought a sense of national pride to billions of cricket fanatics.
Cricket had surely taken over Hockey as India’s number one sport While the Windies were the dominant team with a galaxy of superstars, India had done enough to establish itself as a force to reckon with in limited overs cricket.
The World Cup triumph was followed by winning the Benson and Hedges World Series of Cricket, Rothmans Cup (1984), Sharjah Cup (1988) and becoming the champions of Asia by clinching the Asia Cup in 1984 and 1988.
The Indian ODI side was a potent unit with a charismatic captain in Kapil Dev, some elegant stroke-makers in Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohammad Azhar, quality all-rounders in Madan Lal and Roger Binny and some handy spinners in Maninder Singh and Ravi Shastri.
So it would be interesting to don the selector’s hat and select the best Indian ODI playing eleven of the 1980s
I have only taken those cricketers who regularly made it to the ODI team and came out with consistent performances with bat or ball.
For Batsman - Min Matches – 50, Min Runs Scored – 2000 Avg 25+
For All rounders - Min Matches – 50, Runs Scored – 500
For Bowlers - Min Matches - 50, Min Wickets - 50+
#1 Sunil Gavaskar
The Indians were rock solid at the top with Sunil Gavaskar who was arguably the most technically correct batsman of his generation.
The ‘Little Master’ went about his batting in a conventional manner, playing copybook strokes to perfection. Bestowed with a near to perfect technique and a rock-solid temperament, Gavaskar was India’s first choice opener in limited overs cricket.
Gavaskar's presence gave a sense of calm as the gritty opener fended away hostile pace bowling spells to provide a stable platform for the Indians to build on.
Sunil Gavaskar ODI Record (1980-1989)
Matches 99 Runs 2838 Avg 35.03 100s 1