Shane Warne (right) named Stephen Fleming as the captain of his greatest New Zealand XI © Getty Images
Shane Warne (right) named Stephen Fleming as the captain of his greatest New Zealand XI © Getty Images

After announcing Dream XIs for Australia, England, Pakistan and South Africa, Shane Warne trained his attention to his trans-tasman neighbours New Zealand. As has been his rule for all teams, Warne’s team only allowed for players against who he has played significant amount of cricket. As a result, New Zealand greats such as Richard Hadlee and Bert Sutcliffe missed out. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, widely considered among two of New Zealand’s greatest Test batsman, missed out as Warne never played Tests against them. Another notable exclusion was Craig McMillan. ALSO READ: Shane Warne makes his pick for greatest Pakistan cricket XI

Warne made the team announcement on his Facebook page and one decision which bemused fans and media alike was his decision to play Nathan Astle as an opener, while Stephen Fleming featured at No. 5 in the side. Another surprising call by Warne was to include Ken Rutherford, while leaving the far more prolific McMillan out. Other than that, Warne’s XI stayed within the realms of common imagination. ALSO READ: Shane Warne picks greatest South Africa Test XI since 1990

John Wright was named opener alongside Astle. Andrew Jones came in at one down while Martin Crowe, skipper Fleming and Ken Rutherford followed next in the line-up. Warne’s Kiwi team bats deep with him selecting Brendon McCullum,  all-rounder Chris Cairns and spin bowling-all-rounder Daniel Vettori to come in at Nos 7, 8 and 9 respectively. Shane Bond and Danny Morrison were picked to share the new ball in Warne’s XI.

Shane Warne’s New Zealand Test XI: Nathan Astle, John Wright, Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming (c), Ken Rutherford, Brendon McCullum, Chris Cairns, Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond, Danny Morrison.