B-Mac: Kallis, Gayle, Ponting in best-ever XI


Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has named a strong West Indies contingent in his best-ever cricketing XI, and added South Africa's Jacques Kallis as his premier all-rounder.

McCullum was asked by Lord's to name his all-time XI, with the criteria being that he had to have played with or against them, or have been strongly influenced by the men in question.

He named the usual suspects, like Sachin Tendulkar and Kallis, both of whom regularly make lists like this, but B-Mac also named countrymen Trent Boult and Tim Southee as his preferred pace pairing.

He said on lords.org: "I wanted someone destructive at the top of the order. Chris Gayle – there ain't much better than that.

"Obviously Sachin can bat for days. Ricky 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.

"(Brian 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.

"At number six I've gone for the greatest allrounder in my opinion of all time, Jacques 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.

"Adam Gilchrist as wicketkeeper at seven, on the back of that top six I think he can come in and ice it off pretty quickly."

Then, he said of the bowlers: "Johnson terrorised the opposition for years on end he can also swing the willow as well if need be, (while) Warne speaks for himself.

"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."

B-Mac's XI: Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Viv Richards (c), Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Warne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult