Greater Noida: He can walk into any Indian team on a given day but former India captain Kapil Dev decided to keep himself "out" of the best-ever Indian ODI line-up which he feels should be led by another limited-overs legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The World Cup-winning captain's team of 12 has young Saurashtra allrounder Ravindra Jadeja while Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble are the other two spinners. Apart from Dhoni, the team has legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli and Mohammed Azharuddin, while Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath are the two fast bowlers.
Interestingly, Kapil didn't select a single member of the victorious 1983 squad. Asked about the reason behind leaving out members of 1983 side, Kapil said: "I feel this is India's best ODI team. People can disagree with me but that's my personal view.
"Furthermore, I am selecting the side so how can I include myself in it," he said when asked to hand-pick India's best ODI team on the sidelines of promotional event here on Thursday. "We won the 1983 World Cup but the fact remains that West Indies were by far the better side. We were just confident of doing well on that given day."
Kapil reiterated that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team which won the Champions Trophy in England this year is the best-ever team in the history of Indian cricket. "The team did not have key players like Sehwag, [Gautam] Gambhir, Zaheer but the way they played nobody missed them. West Indies are still missing the likes of Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes," he said.
"I have never seen such outstanding fielding side in the history of Indian cricket. The Champions Trophy title is the ultimate tribute to this team."
Kapil had words of appreciation for India's new batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan and compared the hard-hitting left-hander to Sehwag. "Shikhar has been outstanding from his very first match. I had never thought there would be someone who can hit the ball better than Sehwag," he said.
With the present Indian team sporting a settled look, Kapil feels it would be tough for seniors like Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj and Zaheer to make a comeback. "Nothing is impossible but they need to have patience. The competition would be tough and the age is also not in their favour," he said.
Kapil's All-time XII: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Mohammed Azharuddin, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan. 12th Man: Ravindra Jadeja.