It was "better to be friends" with Sachin Tendulkar than sledge him, says former leg-spinner Shane Warne of his contest with the Indian batting maestro, even though the Australian believed that sledging without abusing opponents is fine.
"I found it an extremely effective tactic against an insecure batsman who could be intimidated. South Africa's Darryl Cullinan springs to mind as a good player who was not confident against Australia, particularly leg spin," Warne wrote in his column in The Times newspaper here.
"On the other hand, with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, it was better to be friends and make them smile rather than wind them up," he said.
Tendulkar and Warne are known to be friends off the field. Even after being thrashed mercilessly by Tendulkar on Australia's tour of India in late 1990s and famously in a one-day tournament in Sharjah besides elsewhere, Warne has remained friends with him.
Warne also disclosed that he called Tendulkar up after he scored a century in the fourth and final Test of the series in Adelaide.
"Tendulkar batted brilliantly for his hundred in Adelaide. I am pleased that he marked his last Test in Australia that way," he said.
"I spoke to him before the game and we reminisced about going to see Sir Donald Bradman together many years ago. Sachin has been a great ambassador and he deserved to leave on a strong personal note."