Picking a Border-Gavaskar Trophy all-time combined XI
India vs Australia is one of the longest-standing rivalries in the sport of cricket. The current Indian test team are attempting to win back-to-back series Down Under for the first time ever. Their regular captain, Virat Kohli, will probably be an automatic choice when drafting “a Border-Gavaskar Trophy all-time XI”, by the time he retires from the game.
India currently holds the trophy and have also been the more successful side, having won it 9 times between 1996 and 2020. Meanwhile, the Australians have only won the trophy 5 times, despite dominating world cricket in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
So, who makes our combined XI?
1. Matthew Hayden
Border Gavaskar Trophy facts: Matthew Hayden remains the highest run-scorer for any opening batsman.
Tall, strong and shrewd, Hayden dominated Indian bowlers both home and abroad. He scored 1888 runs in just 18 games at a batting average of 59. This included 6 centuries and 8 half-centuries.
Hayden was excellent in the subcontinent because he was a very good sweeper of the ball and wasn’t afraid to play the big shots either.
2. Murali Vjay
Murali Vijay scored 1324 runs at a batting average of 47.28. He was much more of a steady player, compared to his opening partner in this side.
Vijay was equally adept versus spin and pace and prospered both home and abroad. The pair have good experience opening together as well, having played with each other for the IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.
Matthew Hayden and Murali Vijay are the openers in our “Border-Gavaskar Trophy All-Time Combined XI.”
3. Steve Smith
Border Gavaskar Trophy facts: The highest batting average for any player in this competition is held by Steve Smith. 1439 runs at a batting average of 71.95 is very healthy indeed.
His 2014 and 2017 series were quite ridiculous. He scored 4 centuries in 4 games in the 2014 edition Down Under and then a further 3 centuries in 4 games in India in 2017.
4. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. He has scored 3262 runs at a batting average of 56.24. He also holds the record for the most centuries with 9.
Both graceful and elegant when he was batting, it is without doubt that he is the best player to have played in this competition.
5. Michael Clarke
Clarke made his mark with a bang in the 2004 Border Gavaskar Series, scoring a superb century in Bangalore to help Australia win the game. He continued his form throughout the series and Australia managed to win in India for the first time in over three decades.
Clarke has scored 2049 runs at a batting average of 53.92. His highest test score of 329 came at Sydney vs India in 2012.
6. VVS Laxman
The man who changed the history of Indian Cricket. VVS Laxman was involved in that famous partnership with Rahul Dravid in 2001 vs Steve Waugh’s Australian side. He denied the Aussies their final frontier.
Overall he scored 2434 runs at a batting average of 49.67, with his highest score of 281. That score will remain iconic in the history of the competition.
Steve Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Clarke and VVS Laxman make up the middle-order in our “Border-Gavaskar Trophy All-Time Combined XI.”
The Wicket-Keeper And Captain
7. MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni will be our captain and wicket keeper in this team.
In the history of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Dhoni is the most successful captain till date. In 13 games, he has won 8, lost 4 and drawn 1.
His personal best of 224 in Chennai versus Australia in 2013 also proves how much he brings to this team with the bat. He scored 990 runs at 35.35.
MS Dhoni is our wicket-keeper in our “Border-Gavaskar Trophy All-Time Combined XI.”
8. Ravindra Jadeja
Perhaps a surprise pick ahead of the likes of Harbhajan Singh but Jadeja has fantastic stats that cannot be overlooked. He has taken plenty of wickets each time he has faced Australia, home or away.
Jadeja has scored 357 runs at a batting average of 27.62, including 4 half-centuries. He is also electric in the field. But, with the ball his 59 wickets at 19.08 have helped India dominate Australia in recent times.
Ravindra Jadeja is our all-rounder in our “Border-Gavaskar Trophy All-Time Combined XI.”
9. Anil Kumble
Border Gavaskar Trophy facts: The highest wicket-taker in the history of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
In 20 games, Kumble picked up 111 wickets at a bowling average of 30.32. He picked up 10 five-wicket hauls and 2 ten-wicket hauls. He bowled lots of overs both home and abroad.
10. Nathan Lyon
The third spinner in this line-up. It was tempting to pick a second fast bowler but the Border Gavaskar Trophy has been dominated by spin.
Nathan Lyon has been excellent. In just 20 tests, he has taken 89 wickets at a bowling average of 32.76.
As a foreign spinner in India, it is normally very difficult to trouble Indian batsmen but Lyon has done just that. He took 8 wickets in Bangalore in 2017 and his heroics in the Adelaide test of 2014 is well documented.
11. Glenn McGrath
The best fast bowler in the history of the competition. Glenn McGrath prospered versus India both home and away. He was excellent in Australia’s triumph in India in 2004, picking up 14 wickets at 25.43.
His consistent line and length plus subtle seam movement made him very difficult to play for openers and the middle-order.
Anil Kumble, Nathan Lyon and Glenn McGrath are the bowlers in our “Border-Gavaskar Trophy All-Time Combined XI.”
12th man: Cheteshwar Pujara
Perhaps unlucky not to make the list.
Cheteshwar Pujara helped India win the 2018/19 Border Gavaskar Trophy Down Under, where he wore down the bowlers and dominated Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. He scored 521 runs at 74.43 during that series.
His overall record reads 1685 runs against Australia at a batting average of 54.35.
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