Dravid to Open, Kohli Bats at Three in Anil Kumble’s Dream Indian Test XI for CricketNext

Anil Kumble’s Dream Indian Test XI for CricketNext

Former India captain & coach and CricketNext brand ambassador Anil Kumble has designated Rahul Dravid to open the innings and Virat Kohli to bat at three in his dream Indian Test XI since 1990. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly and leading spinner Ashwin have failed to make the cut for the team though they made a very strong case. Kumble’s choices were revealed at the conclusion of a contest on the newly launched CricketNext app called Jumbo’s Army.

Users were asked to pick an Indian Test team, made up of players who played for India since 1990 when Anil Kumble first wore the India cap. Since he was the designated captain, Kumble had to pick 10 other players. Kumble, who is India’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 619 scalps, picked the following XI:

  • Anil Kumble ©
  • Rahul Dravid
  • Virender Sehwag
  • Virat Kohli
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • VVS Laxman
  • Kapil Dev
  • M S Dhoni
  • Harbhajan Singh
  • Javagal Srinath
  • Zaheer Khan

Talking about Jumbo’s 11, Anil Kumble, said, “I really enjoyed this exercise of putting together “Jumbo’s Army”. Since it involved picking a team made up of my peers and those who have played after me, I had to put a fair bit of thought into my choices. I am sure some of my ex-colleagues will put up a strong argument about why they should have been included but I am comfortable with my selection. This team, I can confidently say, can compete in all conditions against any opposition. I congratulate those participants that have matched my selection! Needless to say, these kinds of selections aren’t easy and comfortable as you have to leave out some accomplished players who have played with you.”

Explaining some of his choices, Kumble said:

Dravid as Opener“I had to bat Rahul out of position, for the simple reason that I needed depth in the middle order. I don’t think Rahul is new to opening the batting.”

On Excluding Ganguly“You would want a left-hander in the middle order, it was a difficult choice. But the kind of innings Laxman has had and the ability to have a long partnership tipped the scales in his favor.”

On Dhoni as first-choice wicket-keeper“He quietly did the role of a keeper without a fuss, took some wonderful catches and his stumpings are folklore. He also brings the ability to read the game from behind the stumps.”

On Harbhajan over Ashwin “Harbhajan has been my best partner as a spinner, if I am bowling from one end then he is from the other. Ashwin was a very close call, he’s the fastest to 300 wickets, but since I have played a lot with Bhajji, I will go with him.”

11 Lucky winners, whose choice matches that of Anil Kumble’s, now have the chance to fly to New Zealand to watch India play New Zealand in the third T20I at Hamilton on March 10. The winners will be declared shortly on the CricketNext app.

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