19th July 2021 marks the 60th birthday of Harsha Bhogle, popularly known as the “Voice of Indian Cricket”. He has been doing cricket commentary for over four decades and is among the most popular voices in the game. He is almost synonymous with how best the game is described all over the world.
Till now, he has a very fresh and young voice, one which captivates the mind of young listeners. His knowledge of the game is second to none and the way he describes the game gives life to even the television screens.
Apart from his commentary stints with various broadcasters, he is also associated with Cricbuzz doing video gigs. In his most recent video for the website, he has picked his best India XI. He has picked players whom he has watched playing between 1983 to 2021. While there are some known choices, there have been some shocking exclusions as well.
Harsha Bhogle’s Indian Test XI
Harsha Bhogle's Indian Test XI (Picked on Cricbuzz):
1. Sunil Gavaskar.
2. Virender Sehwag.
3. Rahul Dravid.
4. Sachin Tendulkar.
5. Virat Kohli.
6. MS Dhoni.
7. Kapil Dev.
8. Ravi Ashwin.
9. Anil Kumble.
10. Javagal Srinath.
11. Zaheer Khan.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) July 19, 2021
Harsha Bhogle picked Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag as his openers. He spoke about doing commentary in the final leg of Gavaskar’s career and watch him play the toughest of bowlers with ease. He saw the career of Sehwag from start to finish and rated him very highly as an opener.
Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar slots in at number three and four in Bhogle’s XI. Both are among the highest scorers in Test cricket and matchwinners in Indian cricket. The veteran commentator saw both Sachin and Dravid from very close quarters and knew their game like the back of his palm. Over time, after the retirement of Sachin and Dravid, they still have a cordial relationship with Bhogle.
Harsha himself admitted that picking players for numbers five and eight was the hardest thing for him. Many players vouched for those particular spots but the veteran commentator went with the two which he thought suited best. He chose current Indian skipper Virat Kohli at number five over the likes of Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, followed by MS Dhoni at six and Kapil Dev at seven. Thus he formed a very formidable top seven with one all-rounder and a keeper as well.
Harsha Bhogle Chose Bowlers With More Than 300 Test Wickets
Coming down to the bowlers, all the bowlers he chose had more than 300 Test wickets for India. He chose Ravichandran Ashwin over Harbhajan Singh as one of his specialist spinners at number eight. Ashwin recently reached 400 Test wickets in his career and Harbhajan too has over 400 Test wickets in his career. Former Indian skipper Anil Kumble is his second spinner in the lineup.
Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath are the two pacers that complete Bhogle’s, India XI. This is an almost unbeatable side with the kind of players included in the XI. Every one of them has an enviable record and are among the best cricketers of the country.
Harsha Bhogle’s India XI
Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Ravichandran Ashwin, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath Zaheer Khan