Auckland, NZ 28th June 2016: Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has picked his all-time greatest cricket team. In his greatest cricketing XI, McCullum has included a couple of surprises.
He has selected Sir Viv Richard as captain of his ‘all-time cricketing XI’, in a team featuring four former Australian players. Unsurprisingly, the swashbuckling Kiwi, has taken aggression into account while making selections and opted some of the game’s most attacking players.
Batting great Tendulkar is the solitary Indian to find a place in the New Zealand player’s team. McCullum’s team comprises four Australians in Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Mitchell Johnson, three West Indians in Vivian Richards, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, two Kiwis in Tim Southee and Trent Boult, India’s Tendulkar and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.
The Kiwi great, who broke the record for fastest Test ton in his final match, opted for Gayle and Tendulkar to open the batting with former Australia skipper Ponting at one down.
“I wanted someone destructive at the top of the order. Chris Gayle — there ain’t much better than that,” McCullum was quoted as saying by lords.org.
“Obviously Sachin can bat for days. Ponting is another man with phenomenal statistics, he takes the game on and even if you lose two early wickets, he’s still going to come on and play his shots and be aggressive.”
In the middle order, McCullum went for graceful Lara at No.4 followed by the batting machine Richards.
“(Lara) can hopefully take the game away in a session. Sir Viv Richards comes in next and captains the side as well, with his charm, his swagger and his ability to hit the ball out of the park.”
One of the greatest all-rounders of all-time—Kallis—find his place a bit lower in the batting order while explosive wicket-keeper batsman Gilchrist fills the No.7 position.
“At number six I’ve gone for the greatest all-rounder in my opinion of all time, Kallis, he’s a bit lower in the batting order than he’s used to but I’m sure he’ll find his way, he’s an adaptable man.”
“Gilchrist as wicketkeeper at seven, on the back of that top six I think he can come in and ice it off pretty quickly,” he said.
McCullum opted for two Australian greats in his bowling attack – Mitchell Johnson and Shane Warne along with Kiwi pace express combo of Boult and Southee.
“Johnson terrorised the opposition for years on end, he can also swing the willow as well if need be, (while) Warne speaks for himself,” he said.
“Then I’ve gone for two Kiwis. That’s purely because when I was captain of New Zealand, I said I’d never change (Boult and Southee) for the world.”
“I saw them change us from an average Test team to a much harder to beat Test team, because of their ability to get 20 wickets,” he concluded.
MCCULLUM’S GREATEST CRICKETING XI: Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Sir Viv Richards (c), Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Warne, Tim Southee and Trent Boult.