The Greatest Test XI of All Time
Test Cricket is the earliest and longest format in which the game is played. It is the ultimate challenge for a player as it is a test of endurance, temperament and physical capacity at the highest level.
A Test cap is an unprecedented glory for any cricketer and one of the defining moments of his career. Sound technique, strong temperament, critical evaluation of the conditions and a high degree of athleticism are required to succeed in the longest format of the game.
Even in the face of rising popularity of limited overs cricket in terms of commercial gains and viewership, Test Cricket remains the apex to be conquered by any player. With sundry conditions, pitches and oppositions, red ball cricket forms the perfect parameter for testing the expertise of an athlete in terms of technique and temperament.
With due respect to all the legends of the game and keeping in mind the squad balance, we have a look at the greatest XI of Test cricket.
Sir Donald Bradman (Captain - Australia)
If Sir Donald Bradman could be defined in one word, that word would be 'brilliance'. Practising Cricket on the outskirts of Bowral with a cricket stump and a golf ball to dominating the globe with his pristine batting, Bradman's journey was a result of his ingenuity, finesse and tenacity.
Predominantly playing as a No.3 batsman, I have decided to open the team's innings with the legend, keeping in mind the balance of the team. With the vast amount of experience and skill, he boasts of all the requisites of a resourceful Test opener.
His knack for playing giant knocks, and the ability to accelerate and negotiate as per the situation were invaluable to set up the foundation of a strong display on the board, as he ended up with a prodigious average of 99.94 in the format
Don Bradman was also a genius leader, known for his unorthodox decisions and an erudite understanding of the game.. His decisions to reverse the batting order and an inspired leadership of 'The Invincibles' are testimonies to his leadership capacity.
Sunil Gavaskar (India)
Sunil Gavaskar is unarguably the best opening batsman the world has ever witnessed. Long before the advent of legends like Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly, it was Gavaskar who defined consistency, establishing India on a pedestal in world cricket.
The Little Master possessed all the traits of a classic Test batsman. An unparalleled technique, impeccable concentration and astute timing characterized his batting. Gavaskar had a particularly pristine technique against seamers. In an era dominated by a vicious Caribbean attack, he enjoyed an astounding average of 65.45 against them.
Sunny personified consistency, courage and exuberance as he became the first player in the world to achieve an unprecedented milestone of 10,000 Test runs. He also held the record for most Test centuries (34) for almost two decades.