Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar was the only Indian to be included in former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum’s list of all-time cricketing XI as he chose West Indian great Vivian Richards to lead his dream team.
McCullum opted for Chris Gayle and Tendulkar as openers to start the innings with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting coming at first drop in his team, which also consists of three other Australians in Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Mitchell Johnson.
The 34-year-old, who retired from all international cricket last February, named three West Indians -- Richards, Brian Lara and Gayle, two Kiwis -- Tim Southee and Trent Boult -- and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in his list.
“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,” said McCullum, who broke the record for fastest Test ton in his final match.
In the middle order, McCullum went for Lara at No.4 followed by the legendary 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 most successful all-rounders in the history of cricket, Jacques Kallis was given the No. 6 spot to bat with stumper Gilchrist coming next.
“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,” McCullum said.
“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 added.
In his list, McCullum selected Aussie duo of leg-spin legend Warne and pacer Johnson along with Kiwi pace combo of Boult and Southee in his bowling department.
“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 added.