Cricket is not a sport in India, but an extraordinary emotion. We adopted this English game and made it our own. Throughout history, the cricket legends of India played such miraculous cricket that the world only sat and witnessed. Today, we take a chance to learn more about some of the best cricketers in India. The greatest Indian cricketers who turned their dreams into an astounding reality. Every legendary Indian cricketer’s story shall inspire you to the core of your soul. This is our golden opportunity to pay tribute to the famous cricketers of India and recall their indelible innings. Many of the world records set by the legendary Indian cricketers still stand strong as a pillar. We decided to list the cricket legends of India in no chronological order cause each one is a legend in his own right.
Here are 20+ cricket legends of India who will fuel your aspirations from this day onwards:
Table of Contents
- 1. CK Nayudu
- 2. Vijay Merchant
- 3. Vijay Hazare
- 4. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
- 5. Vinoo Mankad
- 6. Lala Amarnath
- 7. Kapil Dev
- 8. Bhishan Singh Bedi
- 9. Sunil Gavaskar
- 10. Javagal Srinath
- 11. Mohammad Azharuddin
- 12. Sachin Tendulkar
- 13. Anil Kumble
- 14. Rahul Dravid
- 15. Sourav Ganguly
- 16. VVS Laxman
- 17. Virendra Sehwag
- 18. Zaheer Khan
- 19. Gautam Gambhir
- 20. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
- 21. Harbhajan Singh
- Watch Harbhajan Singh’s best performance:
- 22. Virat Kohli
- 23. Ravichandran Ashwin
- 24. Rohit Sharma
- 25. Suresh Raina
1. CK Nayudu
- Matches: 7 (Tests), 207 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 26/58 (FC)
- Top Score: 81 (T), 200 (FC)
Born in 1895, Nayudu grew up to become the first captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches. At the tender age of 7, Nayudu showed the signs of a promising batsman. Well known for his stance and leading caliber, Nayudu laid the foundation stones of cricket in India. His contributions were recognized by MCC with a silver bat. The Indian government honored him post-independence with the Padma Bhushan in 1956. Nayudu was not only one of the greatest Indian cricketers, but also one of the most famous cricketers of India.
2. Vijay Merchant
- Matches: 10 (Tests), 150 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 3/3 (T), 45/52 (FC)
- Top Score: 154 (T), 359* (FC)
The dominator of domestic cricket, Vijay signified Indian strength with his run-scoring talent. His batting average of 71.64 is the second-highest in history, behind Don Bradman. The magnificence of his batsman-ship can be understood by cricketer C.B Fry’s words, “Let us paint him white and take him with us to Australia as an opener.” This statement was more than a catch of humor, it remarked on his ability to influence his opponents. His competitive rivalry with another great Indian batsman Vijay Merchant still lives in the memories of millions. Merchant remains one of the greatest Indian cricketers of all time.
3. Vijay Hazare
- Matches: 30 (Tests), 238 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 7/9 (T), 60/73 (FC)
- Top Score: 164* (T), 316* (FC)
Born in 1915, Vijay Hazare was regarded as one India’s premier cricket legends. His records outshone him throughout his career. He was the first Indian to score a triple century in first-class cricket. Also, the first Indian player to complete 1000 runs in Test cricket. Hazare’s legacy has been honored with a trophy in his name. He along with Jasu Patel was the first cricketers to receive the Padma Shri. Vijay stands out as one of the greatest Indian cricketers ever to be born.
4. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
- Matches: 46 (Tests), 310 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 6/17 (T), 33/75 (FC)
- Top Score: 203* (T), 203* (FC)
Better known as Tiger Pataudi, Mansoor came from a royal family of Bhopal. He was a prodigy and his capabilities had caught attention during the school days. Though Mansoor met with an accident in 1961 and damaged his one eye, he went on to play with another for the rest of his career. His sheer willpower and class aggression against fast bowlers earned him the title of Tiger.
He is remembered as one of the best cricketers in India. He received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri during his cricketing days. The BCCI Mansoor Ali Khan Memorial Lecture of 2013 reminisced his exemplary contributions. ‘Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’ is a name inscribed in gold on the list of cricket legends of India.
5. Vinoo Mankad
- Matches: 44 (Tests), 233 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 5/6 (T), 26/52 (FC)
- Wickets: 162 (T), 782 (FC)
- Top Score: 231 (T), 231 (FC)
- Best Bowling: 8/52 (T), 8/35 (FC)
A controversial figure in world cricket because he was the first to use the style of dismissing a non-striker batsman. The dismissal process is now called “Mankading,” after his name. Though this style of dismissal has been termed unsporting, yet it is legal by the laws of cricket.
Another record to his credit is that of an opening partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy, set in 1956. Vinoo received Padma Bhushan in 1973 and has a road, south of Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, named in his honor. Vinoo was among the famous cricketers of India. His style of play inspired some of the famous cricketers of India.
6. Lala Amarnath
- Matches: 24 (Tests), 184 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 31/59 (FC)
- Top Score: 118 (T), 262 (FC)
The first Indian batsman to score a century in Test cricket. Amarnath was born in 1911 and grew up to blast centuries in first-class cricket. Widely known for his aggressive batsman-ship, Lala often got stuck in controversies. However, he found ways to be the most suitable to lead the national cricket team of Independent India against Pakistan in the first Test series. Lala received the Padma Bhushan in the year 1991. He was no doubt one of the early cricket legends.
7. Kapil Dev
- Matches: 131 (Tests), 225 (ODI), 275 (First Class), 309 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 8/27 (T), 1/14 (ODI), 18/56 (FC), 2/23 (LA)
- Wickets: 434 (T), 253 (ODI), 835 (FC), 335 (LA)
- Top Score: 163 (T), 175* (ODI), 193 (FC), 175* (LA)
- Best Bowling: 9/83 (T), 5/43 (ODI)
The Haryana Hurricane led the Indian Cricket Team to win the 1983 World Cup. Regarded as one of the greatest cricketers ever, Kapil remains the only player to have taken more than 400 wickets as well as score more than 5000 runs. His achievements as an all-rounder have inspired many generations to take up both the bat and ball. Kapil was inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame in March 2010. Indeed, Kapil Dev is one of the cricket legends of India.
He has authored many books like By God’s Decree, Cricket My Style. He has received the Arjuna Award (1979), Padma Shri (1982) and Padma Bhushan. His greatest accomplishment has to be the Wisden title of Indian Cricketer of the 20th Century. He is a mandatory mention in a list that recounts the greatest Indian cricketers of all time.
Watch Kapil Dev’s Classic 100
8. Bhishan Singh Bedi
- Matches: 67 (Tests), 10 (ODI), 370 (First Class), 72 (List A)
- Wickets: 266 (T), 1,560 (FC), 71 (LA)
- Best Bowling: 7/98 (T), 7/5 (FC), 5/30 (LA)
The artist of spin bowling, Bedi was a leading name in the spin quartet of India. His bowling has been defined as graceful because of his beautiful posture that he could carry all day long. His greatest achievement is marked by 1560 wickets that he took in first-class cricket. Bedi’s comments on modern-day cricket are vehement. But he remains one of the greatest Indian cricket players. Bedi holds the world record of most economical bowling in 60-over ODI cricket. Bedi’s aggression has led to the inclusion of some of the famous cricketers of India.
Watch Bishan Singh Bedi – The Spin King
9. Sunil Gavaskar
- Matches: 125 (Tests), 348 (First Class), 151 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 34/45 (T), 81/105 (FC), 5/37 (LA)
- Top Score: 236 (T), 340 (FC), 123 (LA)
Among the best cricketers of India, Gavaskar was the one who shone out. He holds the record of being the first batsman to score more than 10,000 runs in Test cricket. Not only this, but he also set the records of most runs and test centuries as a batsman during his time. Gavaskar also set a standard for slip fielding. He was fondly called Sunny or Little master. His sweet nature coupled with massive accomplishments makes him a delightful inspiration to many. A few memorable moments that have captured his glimpses are Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture of 2013 and MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture of 2003.
He was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1980. A cricket stadium in his hometown, a cricket field in Louisville, US and a domestic trophy has been dedicated in his name. He has also authored four books, including his autobiography Sunny Days. Gavaskar’s style of play and list of records making him one of the greatest Indian cricketers to ever walk the grounds.
Watch sunil gavaskar best innings
10. Javagal Srinath
- Matches: 67 (Tests) , 229 (ODI), 147 (First Class), 290 (List A)
- Wickets: 236 (T), 315 (ODI), 533 (FC), 407 (LA)
- Best Bowling: 8/86 (T), 5/23 (ODI), 9/76 (FC), 5/23 (LA)
Srinath is the first Indian fast bowler to pick out 300 wickets in International cricket. At a time when India was known for Spin bowling, Srinath laid out his example as a Fast pacer. His greatest achievements match with Zaheer Khan and counts as the most number of wickets (44) in World Cup tournaments.
Srinath retired after the 2003 World Cup and took to Umpiring as a career. A legendary Indian cricketer now decides who plays right at the pitch! He was honored with the Arjuna Award in 1999 for his contributions to the sport. As a fast bowler, Srinath is one of the most famous cricketers in India
Watch Javagal Srinath top 5 Bowling Performance:
11. Mohammad Azharuddin
- Matches: 99 (Tests), 334 (ODI), 229 (First Class), 433 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 22/21 (T), 7/58 (ODI), 54/74 (FC), 11/85 (LA)
- Top Score: 199 (T), 153*(ODI), 226 (FC), 161*(LA)
Popularly known as Azhar, former captain of the Indian cricket team led his clan with elegance. His wrist movement and batting class were the highlights during the 90s decade in India. Though Azhar’s cricketing career met a controversial end, he was later relieved of all the charges put against him.
He even built a political career, winning an MP seat from the constituency of Moradabad. One of the best cricketers of India, Azhar lent an example of how captaincy is not only a part of cricket but life as a whole. He received the Arjuna Award (1986), Padma Shri (1988) and the title of Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year 1991 for his outstanding contributions. As a captain, Azhar is one of the greatest Indian cricketers of all time.
Watch mohammad azharuddin best innings:
12. Sachin Tendulkar
- Matches: 200 (Tests), 463 (ODI), 310 (First Class), 551 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 51/68 (T), 49/96 (ODI), 81/116 (FC), 60/114 (LA)
- Top Score: 248*(T) 200*(ODI)
Call him Master Blaster or Little Master, he is the God of Cricket. He debuted at the mere age of 11 and thereon played the sport for around twenty-four years. His unbeatable records include 100 centuries in International cricket, the first batsman to score a double century in ODI and the only player to complete 30000 runs in International cricket. Sachin is the second greatest Test batsman after Don Bradman and ODI batsman after Viv Richards.
His achievements include the Bharat Ratna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and Arjuna Award. Several other honorable mentions pride his status as the legendary Indian cricketer. Sachin is not only among the famous cricketers of India but carries worldwide fame.
Watch Sachin Tendulkar Sachin tendulkar’s best inning in ODIs First ODI Hundred by Indian in Pakistan
13. Anil Kumble
- Matches: 132 (Tests), 271 (ODI), 244 (First Class), 380 (List A)
- Wickets: 619 (T), 337 (ODI), 1136 (FC), 514 (LA)
- Best Bowling: 10/74 (T), 6/12 (ODI)
The Jumbo of Indian cricket, Kumble has always been respected for his excellent demeanor. A highly educated individual who displayed immense intellect even when spin bowled out his opponents. In his times, he was best known for his flippers! Kumble has several records under his belt.
One such record is that of taking 10 wickets in a single Test inning. He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1996. Anil received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri in the years 1995 and 2005 respectively. Anil Kumble is a glorious name in the list calling out the cricket legends of India. He was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2015. Kumble fueled energy in some of the best cricketers of India today.
Watch Anil Kumble take 10 wickets against pakistan
14. Rahul Dravid
- Matches: 164 (Tests), 344 (ODI), 298 (First Class), 449 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 36/63 (T), 12/83 (ODI), 68/117 (FC), 21/112 (LA)
- Top Score: 270 (T), 153 (ODI)
When we talk of cricket legends of India, no list is complete without the name of the Wall. Rahul Dravid established the batting standard for Indian cricket. Any intellectual who criticized the style of Indian cricket was stunned shut on his arrival. Looking at his records will be like counting stars in the sky. Dravid understood the spirit of cricket and fashioned himself according to it. One unique record to his name is that of facing the highest number of balls in Test cricket.
He currently serves as the head of the National Cricket Academy of India. His exemplary coaching at junior levels has strengthened Indian cricket at its core. Rahul was named one of the Wisden cricketers of the year 2000. He was recently inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame in the year 2018. India has honored him with the national awards- Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. Rahul has been able to mold some of the greatest cricketers of India.
Watch Rahul Dravid’s best innings:
15. Sourav Ganguly
- Matches: 113 (Tests), 311 (ODI), 254 (First Class), 437 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 16/35 (T), 22/72 (ODI), 33/89 (FC), 31/97 (LA)
- Top Score: 239 (T), 183 (ODI)
The price of Kolkata, Sourav is also famously known as Dada. Ganguly’s style of play introduced real aggression in Indian batsman-ship. The God of Off Side, never let a ball pass by! Ganguly caught the sporting limelight as soon as he entered the international arena. As a firing batsman, he set a partnership record with Rahul Dravid of 318 runs in the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
His extraordinary captaincy also led the Indian team to the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy. In the year 2002, Wisden named him the sixth greatest ODI batsman of all time. His captaincy introduced the team spirit in the Indian cricket team. He received the Padma Shri in 2004 and currently serves as the President of BCCI. Dada is a regular mention in the list of famous cricketers of India.
Watch Sourav Ganguly best innings in odi:
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16. VVS Laxman
- Matches: 134 (Tests), 86 (ODI), 267 (First Class), 173 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 17/56 (T), 6/10 (ODI), 55/98 (FC), 9/28 (LA)
- Top Score: 281 (T), 131 (ODI), 353 (FC), 153 (LA)
Very very special Laxman! A remark so famous in cricket, that every kid in India seems to know it. Laxman was best known for wrist work and match-winning innings. The 2001 match against Australia where he scored 281 runs at the Eden Gardens is often considered the best Test-innings in the history of cricket. Laxman’s elegant stroke play and batting class has inspired many. He is by far one of the cricket legends of India. He received the Arjuna Award in 2001, the title of Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2002 and Padma Shri in 2011. Laxman remains one of the famous cricketers of India.
Watch VVS Laxman best innings in odi:
17. Virendra Sehwag
- Matches: 104 (Tests), 251 (ODI), 194 (First Class), 332 (List A)
- 100s/50s: 23/32 (T), 15/38 (ODI), 42/55 (FC), 16/57 (LA)
- Top Score: 319 (T), 219 (ODI), 319 (FC), 219 (LA)
Viru is a sweet name, but a destructive batting hound in the world of cricket. One of the cricket legends of India, Sehwag holds an endless number of records to his name. He scored the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket.
The top ODI scorer of his time, Sehwag earned the title of Wisden Leading Cricketer of the year 2009. His contribution to the sport is magnificent, for which he received the Arjuna Award in 2002 and Padma Shri in 2010. One cannot refrain from listing him as one of the greatest Indian cricketers of modern-day cricket.
Watch Virendra Sehwag best innings in odi:
18. Zaheer Khan
- Matches: 92 (Tests), 200 (ODI), 169 (First Class), 253 (List A)
- Wickets: 311 (T), 282 (ODI), 672 (FC), 357 (LA)
- Best Bowling: 7/87 (T), 5/42 (ODI), 9/138 (FC), 5/42 (LA)
Best known for his seam and pace, Zaheer remains one of the leading fast bowlers the world has ever seen. He stood out among all the greatest Indian cricketers of his time, especially because of his ability to swing the ball both sides. One of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year 2008, Zaheer set a world-class standard for pacers.
He is considered the second-best Indian pace bowler after Kapil Dev in Test cricket. He also introduced the “knuckleball” to the world. His performance in the 2011 World Cup played a crucial role in the national team’s overall victory. He received the Arjuna Award in 2011.
Watch Zaheer Khans Best wickets compilation:
19. Gautam Gambhir
- Matches: 58 (Tests) ,147 (ODI), 37 (T20I)
- 100s/50s: 9/22 (T), 11/34 (ODI)
- Top Score: 206 (T), 150*(ODI), 75 (T20I)
Nicknamed Gauti, Gambhir stood out of the crowd because of his batting class and consistency. Today, he serves as an MP from East Delhi and keeps up with his commitment to progress in India. Gambhir holds a distinction as the only Indian to score five consecutive centuries in Test cricket. Gambhir also led the Indian cricket team as a captain and was extremely successful. He also led Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and showcased his remarkable captaincy. He received the Padma Shri in the year 2019. Gambhir is one of those cricket legends of India, who never gave up the Indian dream! There is no doubt why he’s considered one of the greatest Indian cricketers.
Watch Gautam Gambhir’s best innings in odi:
20. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
- Matches: 90 (Tests), 350 (ODI), 98 (T20I)
- 100s/50s: 6/33 (T), 10/73 (ODI)
- Top Score: 224 (T), 183*(ODI), 56 (T20I)
Call him Thala, Mahi, MSD or Captain Cool, he is none other than the former captain of the Indian cricket team. Mahi remains the first and only captain till date to win all the ICC trophies. The victories that India accomplished under his leadership made the country a champion in the world of cricket. His winning six at the final of the 2011 World Cup is one of the most-watched videos on YouTube. His records are unbeatable as a middle-order batsman, wicket-keeper, and captain. The unforgettable T20I records include the most number of wins as Captain, the most number of catches and dismissals as wicketkeeper and many more.
Mahi’s outstanding contributions to the sport has earned him the national honors- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan. His name has also been mentioned multiple times in the ICC World ODI XI, that too as a Captain. Dhoni shall forever be considered among the greatest Indian cricketers.
Watch Dhoni’s winning six video on YouTube:
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21. Harbhajan Singh
- Matches: 103 (Tests), 236 (ODI), 28 (T20I), 198 (First Class)
- Wickets: 417 (T), 269 (ODI), 25 (T20I), 780 (FC)
- Best Bowling: 8/84 (T), 5/31 (ODI), 4/12 (T20I), 8/84 (FC)
The Turbanator has been named among the best cricketers of India. As a spin bowling specialist and a master wicket-taker, Bhajji ruled on cricket pitches. The second-highest number of Test wickets by an off-spinner is entitled to him. He started his career in the late 90s and formed an impenetrable duo with Anil Kumble. Bhajji was surrounded by controversies throughout his career, but that never affected his performance. In 2009, Harbhajan was conferred with the Padma Shri. As a spinner, Bhajji remains one of the most famous cricketers in India.
Watch Harbhajan Singh’s best performance:
22. Virat Kohli
- Matches: 84 (Tests), 247 (ODI), 82 (T20I), 109 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 27/22 (T), 43/58 (ODI), 0/24 (T20I), 32/28 (FC)
- Top Score: 254* (T), 183 (ODI), 94(T20I), 254(FC)
King Kohli rules the world of cricket today. His records, captaincy, and temperament signify his superhuman powers. Never has the world seen such a cricketer, no doubt he stands tall among the cricket legends of India.
He holds the mesmerizing record of the highest number of centuries in run chases, and second-highest overall in ODI cricket. At the age of 31, he has achieved what hardly any player in the world could even reach. His shelf of titles and awards include Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and several ICC trophies. As of today, he plans to get India another victory at the World Cup. Virat is among the greatest Indian cricketers of all time.
Watch Virat Kohli best innings in odi:
23. Ravichandran Ashwin
- Matches: 70 (Tests), 111 (ODI), 46 (T20I), 117 (First Class)
- Wickets: 362 (T), 150 (ODI), 52 (T20I), 56 (FC)
- Best Bowling: 17/59 (T), 4/25 (ODI), 4/8 (T20I), 7/59 (FC)
Fondly known as Ash, Ashwin’s googly and carrom balls make him one of the best cricketers in the world. Though he started as a batsman in domestic cricket, his fate took him elsewhere. The third Indian to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Ashwin did something well with the ball. His records present a fine mirror to his abilities, as he is one the fastest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket. He won the titles of ICC test players and ICC cricketer of the year 2016. There lies no doubt that he is one of the cricket legends of India.
Watch Ravichandran Ashwin best bowling
24. Rohit Sharma
- Matches: 32 (Tests), 224 (ODI), 107 (T20I), 92 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 6/10 (T), 29/43 (ODI), 4/20 (T20I), 23/30 (FC)
- Top Score: 212 (T), 264 (ODI), 118 (T20I), 309*(FC)
The Hitman of cricket, Rohit Sharma is the ODI Cricketer of the Year 2020. He made his international debut in 2013, only when Sachin was playing his last series. A spark in his eyes is visible to all and in the last seven years, he has broken unimaginable records! A legendary Indian cricketer in the making. Rohit holds the distinction of being the only cricketer in ODI cricket to score double century thrice. He received the Arjuna Award in 2015 for incredible contributions to date. Today, he is one of the most famous cricketers in India.
Watch Rohit Sharma best innings in odi:
25. Suresh Raina
- Matches: 18 (Tests), 226 (ODI), 78 (T20I), 109 (First Class)
- 100s/50s: 1/7 (T), 5/36 (ODI), 1/5 (T20I), 14/45 (FC)
- Top Score: 120 (T), 116* (ODI), 101 (T20I), 204*(FC)
Hailing from the state of Uttar Pradesh, Raina lives in the heart of every Indian cricket fan. His aggression in batting and superfluous fielding has revolutionized modern-day cricket. He is the second-youngest player ever to captain India and currently one of the famous cricketers of India. The IPL team of Chennai Super Kings relies heavily on him. Raina holds the wondrous feat of being the first Indian batsman to score a century in every format of international cricket. By the time he retires, he shall be recognized as a legendary Indian cricketer.
Watch Suresh Raina best innings in odi:
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