Chris Gayle is best known for his power-hitting exploits in all formats of the game.

Australia spin legend Shane Warne has named Brian Lara as the captain of the Best West Indies XI he has ever faced, with Chris Gayle named an opening batsman.

The crafty ball-turner has spent some of the COVID-19 lockdown naming best XI’s of players from countries that he has faced.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Lara who seems to have made the biggest impression on the spinner.  Lara had the penchant to be brutal against Australia, who he averages 51 against in Test cricket, and scored a best of 277 in Sydney in 1993.  The innings has often been described as one of the finest ever played in Test cricket.

"Lara and Sachin (Tendulkar) were the two best batsmen of my time, his 277 run-knock against us was one of the best innings I saw him play," Warne said on Instagram.

Also making the cut were Desmond Haynes, who was picked to open with Gayle. Next up was Richie Richardson. The middle-order featured the likes of Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ridley Jacobs.

The bowling line-up was led by Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and feature Ian Bishop and Patterson Thompson.

Warne’s XI

Desmond Haynes, Chris Gayle, Richie Richardson, Brian Lara (c), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Carl Hooper, Ridley Jacobs, Ian Bishop, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Patterson Thompson.

 

A comparison between Chris Gayle and Brian Lara, might on the face of it, seem a little silly, but in truth, while Brian Lara is most decidedly the far superior Test cricketer, their ODI records aren't that far apart. 

For instance, Gayle has scored more centuries in ODIs than has Lara with 25 to his name, while Lara has 19.

From just having watched both players, Lara is a genius of unparalleled levels and his class versus that of Gayle's may provide a whitewash for the Trinidad and Tobago left-hander, however, in his prime, Gayle may just have drawn as many excited fans to watch his power unleashed.

At the World Cup where it matters most, Lara scored 1,225 runs between 1992 and 2007. The Prince of Port of Spain had his most productive World Cup in '92 when he scored 333, but was always a heavy contributor with 269 in 1996, 106 in 1999, and 248 in 2003 and 269 in 2007.

Gayle has scored less but not much less, from the same number of World Cups. Gayle has 1,186 runs between 2003 and 2019. He scored 206 runs in 2003, 228 in 2007, 170 in 2011, 340 in 2015, and 242 in 2019.   

With Statistics as close as that, we felt comparing Gayle and Lara, especially in ODIs was fair game. What do you think?

*T20s excluded because of the fact that Lara never got to play much.

Career highlights

BL

  • Highest individual score in Test cricket
  • Fastest batsman to score 10,000 (with Tendulkar/Sangakarra) and 11,000 Test runs

CG

  • Scored the fastest ever ODI double century
  • Highest run-scorer for the West Indies in ODIs