Kevin Pietersen picks Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in his best Test XI
Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has come out with his best XI for each format of the game. The swashbuckling Virender Sehwag opens the batting in all three teams. He is one of only three players to feature in the flamboyant batsman's star-studded Test, ODI and T20 XIs. Sri Lankan maestro Kumar Sangakkara and Australian spin wizard Shane Warne are the other two cricketers to gain entry into all three sides.
In a video interview with cricket.com.au, the 37-year old named his separate best XI for all three formats of the sport. Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar joins his erstwhile team mate Sehwag at the top of the order in the Test team.
Pietersen's best Test XI also features the likes of Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara and AB de Villiers in a formidable middle-order. With his gritty batting as well as penetrative bowling, South Africa's Shaun Pollock lends balance to the team at the number seven spot. Brett Lee, James Anderson and Glenn McGrath team up to form a menacing bowling attack. Warne is the only specialist spinner in this side.
Alongside his best Test XI, Pietersen also revealed his picks for ODIs as well as T20s by juxtaposing all three teams on a piece of paper and displaying it for public consumption. Chris Gayle opens the batting with Sehwag in the powerful 50-over outfit which also sees Ponting, Sangakkara and Kallis in the lineup. Indian captain Virat Kohli is the only active cricketer to find a spot in this distinguished team.
In what is an interesting pick, former England talisman Darren Gough joins the likes of Pollock and McGrath in the seam department. Warne shares the spin duties with New Zealand stalwart Daniel Vettori.
Sehwag, Gayle and Kohli also enter Pietersen's best T20 XI. Having been surprisingly left out in the ODI team, South Africa's dynamic batsman AB de Villiers comes in at number four in the shortest format. Unlike in Tests and ODIs, Sangakkara plays as a specialist batsman as MS Dhoni dons the wicket-keeping gloves in this side.
With only four specialist bowlers in the lineup, Kallis will have to chip in with the ball as well. While Brett Lee and Gough take the new ball, Warne will combine with the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan to generate a mouth-watering spin pairing.
Kevin Pietersen's Best Test XI
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), AB de Villiers, Shaun Pollock, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, James Anderson and Glenn McGrath
Kevin Pietersen's Best ODI XI
Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Daniel Vettori, Shane Warne, Darren Gough and Glenn McGrath
Kevin Pietersen's Best T20 XI
Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni (wk), Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Darren Gough and Muttiah Muralitharan