India v New Zealand Tests 2016
India's Greatest Test XI: No. 3 and 4
As we look ahead to India's 500th Test, today we examine the contenders for the No.3 and 4 spots in the ultimate Fans' XI
15 September 2016, 06:38 PM AEST
In the build up to India's 500th Test match, against New Zealand in Kanpur next week, we want YOU to select India's Greatest Test XI.
Every day we will be asking you to vote on which players you think deserve to make the cut, from the best-ever opening batsmen, to the greatest in the middle-order, the wicketkeepers, the spinners and the pacemen.
Today we're looking to select the greatest No.3 and No.4 in Indian history!
Voting for India's Greatest XI has CLOSED! Check out the results here.
- VOTE: Pick your openers in India's Greatest Test XI
- VOTE: Pick your No.3 and No.4 in India's Greatest Test XI
- VOTE: Pick your No.5 and No.6 in India's Greatest Test XI
- VOTE: Pick your wicketkeeper in India's Greatest Test XI
- VOTE: Pick your fast bowlers in India's Greatest Test XI
- VOTE: Pick your spinners in India's Greatest Test XI
Tests: 69 | Runs: 4,378 | Hundreds: 11 | Ave: 42.50 | HS:138
A measure of Amarnath's mental fortitude during an eventful 18 years at the top was his ability to bounce back from the multitude of setbacks he encountered during his career.
Labelled 'Mr Amarnought' at one stage of his career due to a run of low scores, he finished his Test career in 1988 as one of India's best batsmen of the generation.
The watershed of his career came in the summer of 1982-83 when he plundered almost 1200 runs in 11 Tests away from home, including five of his 11 Test tons.
In fact, nine of his 11 Test centuries were scored overseas, including two in Australia, while three came against the mighty West Indian pace attack, underlining his willingness to steel himself in difficult conditions.
Tests: 164 | Runs: 13,288 | Hundreds: 36 | Ave: 52.31 | HS: 270
Dravid's nickname of The Wall says it all about great right-hander, one of the toughest men to dismiss in the history of the game.
Part of a group of modern batting greats, Dravid found his home at No.3 in an intimidating batting order and plundered more than 13,000 runs in his career, including 36 centuries.
Having posted a near flawless 180 alongside VVS Laxman in the famous Kolkata Test of 2001, Dravid tormented the Australians again with a total of 305 runs against them in Adelaide two years later, just six months before an epic 270 in Rawalpindi secured a famous series victory in Pakistan.
But it was as a fill-in opener for part of the 2011 Tour of England that he produced one of the greatest performances of his career, registering three centuries in four Tests to average 77 for the series as his teammates floundered against the home side's pacemen.
Tests: 30 | Runs: 2,192 | Hundreds: 7 | Ave: 47.65 | HS: 164*
The man who captained India to their first ever Test win, Hazare forged his reputation with twin centuries against Bradman's Australians in Adelaide in 1946 and is still regarded as a great of Indian cricket.
Having lost several years of his career due to World War II, Hazare made up for lost time when hostilities ended as India began to establish themselves on the international stage.
While those two centuries in Adelaide would be his only tons outside of India, Hazare was no slouch away from home; his innings of 56 against a rampant Fred Trueman and Alec Bedser when his team were reeling 4-0 at Leeds in 1952 was proof of that.
Another high point of his career was his scores of 164no and 155 in the first two Tests of the 1951-52 series against England, performances that foreshadowed their historic maiden victory in Chennai in the fifth Test
Tests: 200 | Runs: 15,921 | Hundreds: 51 | Ave: 53.78 | HS: 248*
Arguably the greatest cricketer of all time, Tendulkar more than lived up to his God-like status over a breathless 24-year career at the top.
Making his Test debut at just 16, The Little Master was a Test century-maker at 17 and had 16 Test tons before his 25th birthday. The cult of Tendulkar, a force still felt today, had been unleashed on the world.
Remarkably, the diminutive right-hander seemingly never strained under the unimaginable burden of expectation from his adoring fans, hammering runs against all bowlers and in all conditions well into his third decade at the top.
In November 2013, at the ripe old age of 40 and in his 200th Test match, he said his final farewell to the game and bowed out as Test cricket's most prolific ever run-scorer, it's most successful ever century-maker and possibly it's greatest ever player.
Tests: 116 | Runs: 6,868 | Hundreds: 17 | Ave: 42.13 | HS:166
Having taken some time to find himself at Test level - his maiden Test ton came almost three years after his debut - Vengsarkar forged a reputation as an imposing top order player for more than a decade.
He finished his career with 6868 runs and 17 centuries, eight of which came in the space of just 16 Tests in a golden period between 1986 and 1987.
He also has the distinction of having thrice etched his name on the famous Honour Boards at Lord's thanks to three centuries there from four Tests, with his only other Test ton outside of India coming at Headingley.
It was at home where Vengsarkar thrived, averaging 55 from 54 Tests in India, including an unbeaten 344-run stand with Sunil Gavaskar against the West Indies in 1978 that remains an Indian record for the second wicket.
Tests: 91 | Runs: 6,080 | Hundreds: 14 | Ave: 41.93 | HS: 222
From the moment he posted a century in his debut Test against Australia in 1969, Viswanath established himself as a key pillar of India's batting order throughout the 1970s and into the early 80s.
While his career numbers may not be as imposing as some of India's other greats, some of his best performances came under duress; see his unbeaten 97 in a total of 190 against a rampant Andy Roberts in Madras in 1975, or his match double of 83 and 79 on a difficult surface against New Zealand in Christchurch the following year.
He saved his best for the end of his career, a Test high 222 against England in Chennai, coming just weeks after he scored 107 in Delhi, against an attack featuring the names Botham, Willis and Underwood.