Shane Warne picks his greatest ever Aussie XI of teammates

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Steve Waugh (centre) smiles next to Shane Warne (left) holding the trophy and Adam Gilchrist smiling.
Australia's Cricket captain Steve Waugh (centre) with Shane Warne (left) and Adam Gilchrist holding the ICC Test Championship Trophy. (Photo by David Jones - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shane Warne took to Instagram on Monday night and said he would answer questions from fans while everyone stays at home during self-isolation amid the coronavirus crisis and he didn’t disappoint.

Warne, who recently showed off his luxurious self-isolation pad, shocked many when he named the best Aussie XI he had ever played with during his time terrorising batsman with the kookaburra.

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While there were some obvious choices, such as Australia’s all-time leading run-scorer Ricky Ponting and all-time leading wicket taker for a pace bowler Glenn McGrath, there were some surprises.

Batsman surprise

One huge surprise was the inclusion of Steve Waugh.

Warne has openly talked bout his wounds from the time, then captain, Waugh dropped him from the Test team.

In his autobiography, No Spin, Warne again labelled Waugh "the most selfish player I ever played with".

Matthew Hayden and captain Steve Waugh cheers a champagne glass.
Matthew Hayden of Australia shares a glass of champagne with his captain Steve Waugh in the rooms. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

But these wounds were put aside as he put Waugh, alongside brother Mark, in the middle order.

Warne named Allan Border captain of his XI.

The Spin King also stumped some with his internal debate over which wicket-keeper he would choose.

Healy or Gilchrist?

Warne had trouble tossing up between the best keeper behind the stumps he had seen, Healy, and the pioneering batsman-keeper role of Gilchrist.

“Ian Healy was probably the best pair of hands behind the stumps that I’ve seem,” Warne said.

“My dilemma is do I pick a pure wicketkeeper, because that would be Ian Healy. But you put Adam Gilchrist’s keeping and batting in the side… he was a world class player, and he got better.

“When he finished, he was a better wicketkeeper and a better player than when he first started… his batting was absolutely dynamite.”

Bowler surprise

Most Aussie cricket fans wouldn’t be surprised to see Glenn McGrath lead Warne’s pace attack with his once partner in crime Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie also getting the nod.

But while Warne bowled with the likes of Andy Bichel, Brett Lee and Merv Hughes his two next selections surprised some.

Warne picked Bruce Reid, who averaged 113 wickets at an average of 24.63, to round off the bowling attack.

Retiring Australian bowler Glenn McGrath, left, and Shane Warne walk off the field hugging each other.
Retiring Australian bowler Glenn McGrath, left, and Shane Warne walk off the field bowling their final overs. (Getty Images/Fairfax Media)

Stuart MacGill, who played second fiddle to Warne throughout his career, was for many the spinner Warne might have included.

But the Spin King chose another spinner offering his reason.

“Having bowled with Tim May, and he was my favourite bowler to bowl with, I’d have to pick him,” Warne said.

“He was underrated, he bowled in all conditions… [MacGill] played mostly as a second spinner in his career, unluckily for him, if it wasn’t for me he would’ve played a lot, but he always played on turning pitches.”

The team boasts some incredible statistics with 971 matches of experience, 65,192 runs, 182 centuries and 1206 wickets.

Hayden, Ponting, Border and Waugh all finished with a career average over 50.

Warne’s all-time Aussie XI teammates:

1: Matthew Hayden (103 matches, 8625 runs @ 50.73)

2: Michael Slater (74 matches, 5312 runs @ 42.83)

3: Ricky Ponting (168 matches, 13,378 runs @ 51.85)

4: Mark Waugh (128 matches, 8029 runs @ 41.81)

5: Allan Border c; (165 matches, 11,174 runs @ 50.56)

6: Steve Waugh (168 matches, 10,927 runs @ 51.06)

7: Adam Gilchrist wk; (96 matches, 5570 runs @47.60, 416 dismissals)

8: Tim May (24 matches, 75 wickets @ 34.74)

9: Jason Gillespie (71 matches, 259 wickets @ 26.13)

10: Bruce Reid (27 matches, 113 wickets @24.63)

11: Glenn McGrath (124 matches, 653 wickets @21.64)

12th: Merv Hughes