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In the IND vs. AUS Test series, the all-time best XI won the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

In the IND vs. AUS Test series, the all-time best XI won the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

The Border Gavaskar Trophy is one of the closely contested series in the longest format between India and Australia. The series has been named after charismatic batters, Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border from India and Australia respectively and is being played with the said name since the 1996-97 series.

The most successful team has been India, with nine titles and are the current trophy holders as well with the victory in the 2020/21 series. The 2023 series is all set to start on February 9 in Nagpur.


Check out the Border Gavaskar Trophy’s All-Time Best XI before the series begins:

1. Matthew Hayden

In the early 2000s, Matthew Hayden provided optimism to the strong Australian side. The southpaw was steady with his contributions in addition to the superb strokeplay.

In 35 innings, Hayden scored 1,888 runs, averaging 59. He participated in the Red Ball Series from 2001 to 2008, and his contributions to the series championships in 2004 and 2008 were crucial.

The series’ best performance by Hayden came in Chennai in March 2001. He hit 203 off 320 balls, including six maximums and 15 fours. India did, however, manage to win by two wickets in a close match.

2. Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara, who is frequently referred to as the new “Wall” of the Indian Test outfit, will bat first for this XI. The graceful batsman made his longest format debut in 2010 against Australia, and since then, he has amassed more over 7,000 runs and 19 hundreds.

Pujara has the most runs against any team with 1,893 runs at an average of 54.08, 10 fifty-pluses, and five tonnes. In 2013, his greatest performance of 204 helped India defeat Pakistan by an innings and 135 runs in Hyderabad.

In the 2020–21 series, Pujara used his tenacity and skill to help the Indian side win a historic series. His valiant innings of 56 from 211 balls, which he scored while taking many body knocks and breaching the Fort Gabba, put an end to Australia’s 32-year streak of unbeaten play.

3. Ricky Ponting

One of Australia’s all-time best batters is Ricky Ponting. The cover drives and the pull were the two shots in his book that were most popular with the audience. In 168 games, he scored 13,378 runs at an average of 51.85, including 41 centuries during his long career.

Ponting scored 2,555 runs in 29 games for Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between 1996 and 2012, with 12 fifties and 8 centuries. He gave Australia a comfortable victory in Melbourne in December 2003 with his best performance of 257.

Australia won the 2003–2004 series 2-1 under Ponting’s direction, which was contested in India. It’s interesting to note that since then, no Australian team has even come close to winning a series in India.

4. Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar, the pinnacle of grace and dependability, is undoubtedly India’s most renowned batter in both Tests and ODIs. In 200 Tests, he scored 15,921 runs at an average of 53.78, including 51 hundreds.

In addition, Tendulkar is by far the finest batter in the Border Gavaskar trophy. In 34 Test matches, he scored 3,262 runs at an impressive average of 56.24, including 16 fifty-pluses and nine hundreds. He appeared in the most Border-Gavaskar series, as well (11).

In Sydney in 2004, the young maestro hit his greatest innings of 241* runs against his preferred team. His wicket enabled the Indian team to post a staggering 705 points, which ranks fourth among all of their Test victories.

5. Steve Smith

A player who used leg-spin to begin his career has become well-known for his batting prowess. After making his Test debut in 2010, Steve Smith has already amassed almost 8,600 runs in 92 games at a perfect average of 60.89, including 37 fifties and 30 tonnes.

Smith amassed 1,742 runs in 28 innings, with eight tonnes and five fifty-sixes, for bilateral records. His ability to turn starts into three-figure scores is demonstrated by the data.

The 33-year-old recorded his greatest innings of 192 during the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne, which included 15 fours and two sixes. He will also be crucial to Australia’s ambitions for 2023.

6. VVS Laxman

Early in the new millennium, VVS Laxman’s victories over the dominating Australian team led to his reputation as a clutch player for the Indian side. In 134 games after making his debut in 1998, the right-hander scored 8,781 runs, including 17 centuries.

Laxman starred in the Border Gavaskar series, scoring 2,434 runs in 29 games, including 12 fifties and six tonnes. He played in the series from 1998 to 2012 and currently holds the third spot on the batting charts.

Laxman’s most notable performance, a 281-yard knock in Kolkata in 2001, was a turning point in his career. Additionally, the 303-run partnership he had with Rahul Dravid in Adelaide in 2003 still gives Indian cricket fans chills.

7. Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja has consistently delivered in both areas since making his debut. In his early years, his fielding efforts had also been a revelation, elevating the Indian team’s reputation in this area.

Jadeja has earned a spot in this starting lineup as an all-rounder because of his versatility and ability to support the team in any situation. The southpaw has 387 runs and 63 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. His 18.85 average is the highest among the top five BGT wicket-takers.

The gifted all-rounder selected his best Test series statistics of 6/63 in Bengaluru. When Jadeja returns to the squad after the injury, it will be intriguing to see if he can maintain the same level of consistency.

8. Nathan Lyon

Since his debut in 2011, Nathan Lyon has consistently taken wickets for the Australian red-ball squad. Lyon is currently the most successful Australian spinner to date with 460 wickets in 115 games.

He has only played in the BGT since 2011, yet in 22 games he has taken 94 wickets. He comes in at number three on the list, only after Anil Kumble (111), and Harbhajan Singh (95).

Bengaluru hosted Lyon’s finest 8/50 performance in 2017. After the series is over, the 35-year-old is set to surpass the other bowlers in bilateral matches.

9. Anil Kumble(c)

The best Indian bowler in both Tests and ODIs is Anil Kumble. Jumbo will undoubtedly be remembered as the greatest Indian bowler in this format over the years with his 619 wickets in 132 red-ball matches.

Kumble is the best bowler in the BGT as well, having taken 111 wickets in 20 games between 1996 and 2008. The flipper specialist has proven time and time again that he can nab wickets when it counts.

In Sydney in 2004, Kumble turned in his best BGT performance, finishing with a score of 8/141. Although Lyon was far from breaking his records, he appears to be in good shape to defeat him in a month.

10. Zaheer Khan

In spite of the dearth of left-arm pacers, Zaheer Khan’s remarkable abilities offered hope for the Indian team in all forms. With 11 five-wicket hauls, he finished with 311 wickets in 92 Test matches.

With 61 kills in 19 matches at an average of 35.39, Zaheer ranks sixth in the BGT bowling rankings. He participated in the bilateral matches from 2001 to 2012.

The gifted pacer’s greatest effort against Australia in a Test innings came in Bengaluru in 2008 when he finished with 5/91. He has taken the most wickets out of any pacer for either team, which is interesting.

11. Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath, a bowler known for his ability to consistently place balls in the proper spots, amassed 563 wickets in 124 matches at a remarkable average of 21.64, including 29 five-wicket hauls.

During his tenure in the BGT from 1996 to 2004, McGrath recorded 51 wickets in 11 games. McGrath and Brett Lee made sure the Indian hitters stayed quiet when they were performing at their peak.

The right arm pacer’s 5/48 best effort occurred in Sydney in January 2000. He was named Player of the Match after posting numbers of 5/55 in the second innings.


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