Cricket undoubtedly holds the position of India’s most renowned sport. The country has given rise to numerous legendary batsmen in a history of a game, individuals who have captivated audiences with their extraordinary batting prowess. Here, you’ll explore five of a all-time greatest batsman. When these batsmen stepped up to the crease, fans knew they were in for a sublime cricket fix:
Sachin Tendulkar, undoubtedly recognized as among a most exceptional batsman of his era, undeniably holds a position of an iconic figure in the India’s batting legacy. He embarked on his international journey in a year 1989, at a tender age of sixteen, as well as proceeded to relish the career spanning 24 years.
Sachin is the leading run scorer in Tests as well as ODIs. He has scored 15,921 runs in Test cricket at an average of 53.78 with 51 centuries. In 463 ODIs, he scored 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83 with 49 tons. Sachin was the first player to score a double century in ODIs.
His batting was based on impeccable technique, great shot selection and immense concentration. Be it seamers or spinners, Sachin could take any bowling attack apart once set. He was also an excellent player of fast bowling, pulling and cutting with aplomb. Sachin’s brilliant batting gave delight to countless supporters in India and throughout the world, and he has acquired legendary fame in the game of cricket.
Sunil Gavaskar is considered as Indian cricket 1st batting hero. He was among the game’s finest opening batters, setting various records over his 16-year career from the year 1971 to 1987.
Gavaskar appeared in 125 Tests, amassing 10,122 runs with an avg of 51.12 and registering 34 hundreds. He was the first batsman to go past 10,000 runs in Tests. Gavaskar scored centuries in both innings of a Test match on 3 occasions.
He was an extremely patient opening batsman with an impregnable defence. His immaculate judgement of where his off-stump was allowed him to leave balls safely. Gavaskar played exceptional cricket against the mighty West Indies, scoring 13 centuries against them. Gavaskar handled pace and spin with equal efficiency. His technical mastery even on challenging overseas tours helped India achieve many memorable Test victories.
Virat Kohli is often recognized as among the greatest batters of this time. Over the last decade, he is the core of Indian hitting. Kohli made his debut in 2008 and has so far scored 8043 runs in 102 Tests at an average of 49.95 with 27 hundreds.
In ODIs, Kohli has scored 12,344 runs in 260 matches at an outstanding average of 57.68. He has scored 43 centuries in the format. His consistency in scoring big runs across formats sets him apart from contemporaries.
Kohli plays with great intensity and has the ability to bat in any situation. He plays pace very well off the backfoot and has a very strong bottom hand grip. He is equally adept against spin with his nimble footwork allowing him to get close to the pitch of the ball. Kohli has proved his credentials as a modern great and continues to amass runs at an incredible rate. At 34, he has many more years of cricket left in him.
Rahul Dravid is regarded as one of the greatest Test batsmen produced by India due to his incredible record and reliability over a 16 year career from 1996 to 2012. His key statistics highlight his phenomenal consistency – in 164 Test matches, Dravid scored 13,288 runs at an excellent average of 52.31 runs per innings. This record is even more impressive considering he batted mostly at number 3, exposed early against the new ball and facing the best bowlers.
Dravid’s batting was based on textbook technique and immense powers of concentration. He had a solid defense, good judgement of which balls to leave outside off stump and could play long innings by wearing down bowlers. This ability to construct big innings and occupy the crease for hours earned him the nickname ‘The Wall’. His mental strength and technical skills were successful against all types of bowling – fast and spin, home and away. Dravid proved his quality by performing in difficult overseas conditions like in Australia, England and South Africa, often batting India out of trouble. He scored centuries in every major cricketing nation.
Dravid shared many fruitful partnerships with other Indian batting legends like Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly. Together they formed a formidable Test batting unit. Dravid played the anchor role to perfection, allowing strokemakers at the other end to play more freely. His epic match-winning knocks overseas helped India achieve many famous victories.
Virender Sehwag was among the most forceful openers in history. Sehwag’s aggressive approach was a breath of new air in a generation of defensive openers. He played 104 Tests and scored 8586 runs at an average of 49.34. His strike rate of 82 runs per 100 balls is extremely high for a Test opener.
Sehwag holds the distinction of being the only Indian to score a Test triple century – he in fact scored two of them with the highest score being 319. When in full flow, he could decimate any bowling attack and change the course of a match rapidly.
Sehwag was equally dangerous in ODIs as well where he amassed 8273 runs at an average of 35.05 in 251 matches. He became the first Indian to score an ODI double hundred. Sehwag’s carefree batting made him a hugely popular figure in Indian cricket. His aggressive approach laid the platform for many famous Indian victories.
India has been blessed with many batting greats who enthralled fans with their craft over the years. The five batsmen discussed above are undisputedly the finest to have represented the country and carved their names among the pantheon of all-time greats. Their record-breaking feats, styles, characters and memorable innings have contributed significantly in making India a formidable Test side and the most popular team globally in ODI cricket. While cricket has faced its share of controversy around cricket match fixing allegations, the sheer artistry of these Indian batting masters serves as a reminder of why cricket still holds such a special place in the hearts of fans.