Warne picks his greatest NZ Test XI

Cricket's greatest leg-spinner continues his series of Test playing nations

Shane Warne has picked a strong New Zealand squad as he continues his personal series of naming the best players from each country he played against, but not without controversy.

Warne took 708 Test wickets in a career spanning 15 years, and played 20 Tests against the Black Caps in that time.

Kiwi great Stephen Flemming was named captain ahead of Martin Crowe and Ken Rutherford, although all three batsmen made Warne's XI.

Warne's criteria of only picking players he faced during his Test career meant he left out Sir Richard Hadlee, an automatic selection in any all-time NZ XI, but whose career was finished two years before Warne burst onto the scene in 1992.

Warne's greatest ODI XI

Warne's best Aussie Test XI

Warne's best England Test XI

Warne's best South Africa Test XI

Warne's best Pakistan Test XI

However, Warne's criteria and selections do not appear watertight, with the former player again editing his Facebook post shortly after publishing his team and receiving early feedback from fans.

Having previously edited his selections for South Africa and Pakistan to make changes after early fan feedback, this time Warne changed wicketkeepers, dropping Adam Parore for current Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum.

Warne celebrates dismissing McCullum in 2005 // Getty 

Warne played 10 Tests against Parore, who averaged 38.14 and completed 25 dismissals against Australia. McCullum's early days as a New Zealand Test player coincided with the later parts of Warne's career; five Tests against Warne's Australia yielded 147 runs at 16.11 with a high score of 36 and 11 dismissals.

McCullum averaged just 4.33 facing Warne, who took his wicket three times. Warne also got Parore three times (albeit in twice as many Tests) while the wicketkeeper averaged 19.33 against the leg-spinner.

Warne also included controversial allrounder Chris Cairns, whose on-field exploits were exceptional – he once blasted Shane Warne out of the attack with a flurry of sixes in a Test match that landed on a road adjacent to the Basin Reserve. But Cairns' career and reputation has since been tarnished by match-fixing allegations in retirement that are still the subject of court action.

Cairns lifts Warne for one of six second-innings sixes at Wellington in 2000 // Getty

"Plenty of wonderful players I couldn't squeeze in," Warne wrote of his final XI.

"New Zealand has produced so many good players, Ross Taylor, (Mark) Greatbatch, (Craig) McMillan and (Jeetan) Patel were hard to leave out, as were many others."

A Test against New Zealand also provided one of the more infamous moments in Warne's career - dismissed for 99 at the WACA in late 2001, caught in the deep, only for the umpire to have missed Vettori's no-ball.

Warne, with 3154 runs, remains Tests cricket's highest run-scorer never to have completed a century.


Nathan Astle, John Wright, Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming (c), Ken Rutherford, Chris Cairns, Brendon McCullum (wk), Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond, Danny Morrison.