When Sir Donald Bradman named his dream team, it was hardly surprising that he included himself in his galaxy of greats. No one could argue against an average of 99.94 and an all-time Test XI without The Don is unimaginable. Kapil Dev, however, omitted himself from his all-time best Indian one-day XI — though such an Indian XI without Kapil is unthinkable.
Modesty generally prohibits players from naming themselves in such line-ups. However, Sourav Ganguly has no such qualms and picked himself in his all-time Indian One-Day International (ODI) and Test XIs. But that’s the man he has always been. It’s always been a take it or leave it situation as far as he was concerned. His decisions never gave weightage to what people would think. He said what he wanted to and people could like it or lump it. Whether it was making Steve Waugh wait at the toss or taking his shirt off at the Mecca of Cricket, Ganguly has been a maverick.
Ganguly’s choice of naming himself in the ODI XI cannot be questioned; he has been one of India’s greatest in the format. With over 11,363 runs and 22 hundreds, he is an automatic choice in a format he dominated for a major part of his career. But, to say that he can be a part of the all-time Indian Test XI is far-fetched. Ganguly was a good player in Test cricket, but not great. There are other certainly others who have better credentials to take the spot he allotted for himself.
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