The Old Batsman and I had some fun at Shane Warne’s expense when we mocked his “match awareness” commentary. But he’s actually really quite good in that he never ceases looking for ways bowlers or batsmen can gain the advantage in a game. It’s no wonder the Australians keep winning, sometimes even from seemingly impossible situations, when they have this kind of ethos ingrained in the team.
During the England v. Pakistan match, for example, Warne noticed Umar Gul stuttering at the start of his run-up. He said Andrew Strauss, then on strike, should take advantage and put Gul even more off-rhythm. Before that, he said Mohammed Aamer should set up Jonathan Trott with a quick, in-swinging yorker. Sure, some of it can be silly and unrealistic, but Warne basically asks the questions each player should in cricket: why am I here? What do I do with this ball (or bat), and how do I gain the upper hand?
DB, that’s always been Warne’s strength. And why, ultimately, I rank him ahead of Murali. His reading of the game, of when to attack or defend and how, always struck me as being a step above everyone else on the field. That also meant that when Warne needed to (when his team needed him to) he could step up a notch in performance, and weave his web with the ball, or added valuable runs with the bat (the 2005 Ashes being the best example).
It’s also why, by all accounts, he and Ponting never really got along.
I agree — I preferred to watch Warne bowl than Murali.
Nice point DB,
We have seen that Warne has been always active whether batting, bowling or fielding.
And that was his great ability that made a underdog RR champion in IPL.