London, June 27 (IANS) Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar is the lone Indian to find a place in former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum’s list of all-time cricketing XI with West Indian legend Vivian Richards as the captain.
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, 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 first drop.
“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 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.”
Considered as one of the most successful all-rounders in the history of the game, Kallis is next in the batting slot while stumper Gilchrist is McCullum’s choice for 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.
The bowling department is led by Aussie duo of leg-spin legend Warne and pacer Johnson along with Kiwi pace 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 added.
Team: Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulknar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Viv Richards (Captain), Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Shane Warne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.