India, over the years have produced some great cricketers that has matched the very best in the world. With the completion of 69 years of independence, here is a look at some of the finest knocks by some of the greats in our country that had forced the world to stand up and acknowledge batsmanship in its true form-Test cricket. While some have come in foreign soil and some in the sub-continent, it had ensured the fact that we are no gimmicks in Test cricket any more. With Laxman and Tendulkar featuring in the list twice, it does have it's fair share of surprises...

#1 VVS Laxman

 Laxman in action against Aussies

VVS Laxman, Eden Gardens, 2001: When Steven Waugh took the flight to capture the last frontier-India, the visitors were oozing with confidence, just to signify that a series victory was more of a formality than a challenge. Waugh’s men reduced the Indians to mere spectators who had no control of the proceeding at Mumbai, as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. As Australia went to Kolkata with their tails-up and planning to wrap up the series, VVS Laxman came in the way. With India, following on, after a poor first innings display, Laxman was promoted up the order at No 3 and the rest is history. The man from Hyderabad took the Kangaroos to the cleaners as his knock of 281, not only got India back in the match but also in the series which the hosts’ went on to win 2-1 that disrupted the Aussie dominance of winning 16 Test matches in a row.

#2 Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen                       Dravid and Laxman batted the whole day

 Rahul Dravid, Eden Gardens, 2001: While Dravid may have bailed India out of trouble on more than one occasion, this knock of 180 against Australia at Eden Gardens will stand out, not just because of the situation but also in the context of the series. Dravid was involved with Laxman in a mammoth 376-run partnership that turned the match on its head  after the hosts’ were in danger of losing the match inside 3 days along with the series.

#3 Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen 

Sunny signed off in style

Sunil Gavaskar, Bangalore, 1986/87: Sunil Gavaskar was probably the first Indian cricketer who restored a sense of pride among a lot of us, and while the little master might have played a lot of great knocks including centuries in both innings and 221 at Oval against England but the innings that showed the dynamics of his class as a Test batsman was the one he played against Pakistan in 1986 at Bangalore that also turned out to be his last Test. The 96 scored by Gavaskar in a raging turner had the crowd on its feet, even when the Indians fell short by 16 runs in the run chase.

#4 Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Sachin’s 241 were a result of a cautious and patient approach
Sachin Tendulkar, Sydney, 2003/4: Sachin Tendulkar had been in the mix of things for more than a couple of decades and at times, on certain days, he was just a treat to the naked eye. For a guy who was at the helm of affairs for 24 years and had scored 51 centuries, to pick one would always be a daunting task but his knock of 241 at Sydney in 2003/4 was a fine display of patience, attitude where he curbed his natural instinct and refused to play anything outside the off-stump for the most part of his knock.

#5 Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Gambhir batted with patience and intent
Gautam Gambhir, Napier, 2009: India have always been poor travellers but not on this occasion as Gautam Gambhir stood like a rock at one end and anchored the Indian innings for 2 days as the visitors saved the Test match at Napier by playing out the last two days with Tendulkar, Dravid and Yuvraj giving him good company. Laxman did his bit by scoring a century but all went back except the man from Delhi who stayed at the crease for 643 minutes for his brilliant 137.

#6 Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Sehwag’s knock scared the Pak bowlers for life
Virender Sehwag, Multan, 2004: Very few would have thought Virender Sehwag to be good enough to score a triple-century, more because of his style of play but the Nawab of Najafgarh has not done it once but twice. The first came at Multan against Pakistan in 2004 where Sehwag just eased his way to 309 reducing the Pakistanis to a club-level bowling attack. India went on to win the Test match by a innings and later the series.

#7 Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Despite back issues the Little Master played a master knock
Sachin Tendulkar, Chennai, 1999: Sachin Tendulkar kept battling with a back injury, a Pakistani attack that boasted the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq and a turning Chidambaram track that had shown little mercy to the hosts. But the little man from Mumbai kept the Indian fight alive as his partners kept leaving him one after another, giving the arch-rivals more than a chance to win the Test match. At the end Tendulkar’s 136 was not good enough as India fell short of the target by12 runs.

#8 VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Wristy Laxman reserved his best against Australians
VVS Laxman, Mohali, 2010: Back injuries seem to get the best out of Indian batters as VVS Laxman made the most of his form and ability at Mohali against Australia in a match where the Aussies had all but won the match before the Hyderabadi middle-order batsman took India home from the jaws of defeat to a famous victory. Laxman’s 73 came at a time when India were tottering at 120 for 8, chasing a target of 216 as the visitors won by 1 wicket.

#9 GR Viswanath

GR Viswanath - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
The trend starter
GR Viswanath, Port of Spain. 1976: Chasing a target of 404, India were up for the challenge as Sunil Gavaskar got the visitors off to a great start as Viswanath capitalised the conditions to perfection and took the Indian team to a famous Test win against the West Indies by scoring a brilliant 112 that came against a bowling line-up which was led by Michael Holding.

#10 Dilip Vengsarkar

Dilip Vengsarkar - Top 10 greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen
Dilip loved to toy with English bowlers
Dilip Vengsarkar, Leeds, 1986: Vengsarkar was at one time known as the Lord of Lord’s and England was one of the opponents he loved playing against. This time around he held the fort at Leeds by scoring 102 and also guided India to a famoust Test win in foreign soil. The next best score in the secong innings was 31 that goes to show Vengsarkar’s dominance and importance where every body else found going really tough.
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