McCullum’s list of all-time XI, No Kohli or Dhoni but Sachin Tendulkar lone Indian in list


New Delhi: Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian to be selected in former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum's list of all-time cricketing XI led by West Indian great Vivian Richards.

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.

McCullum opted for Chris Gayle and Tendulkar as openers to start the innings and  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 "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.