Sublime Warne only getting better with age
He isn’t an active player anymore, but wakes from his slumber every year to lead the Rajasthan Royals. Every time you assume he would be a tad unfit, his reflexes would be a touch slower, his mind won’t respond to situations as it used to, and the batsmen would get the better of him, writes Harbhajan Singh.india Updated: May 02, 2011 00:20 IST
If there is a cricketer installed with ‘supercomputer’, it has to be Shane Warne. This wily fox from Australia is like old wine, getting better with age. He still gets that drift, gets the ball to nip off the surface, turns it sharply and spins a web around batsmen.
He isn’t an active player anymore, but wakes from his slumber every year to lead the Rajasthan Royals. Every time you assume he would be a tad unfit, his reflexes would be a touch slower, his mind won’t respond to situations as it used to, and the batsmen would get the better of him.
But he continues to surprise everyone. He is super athletic, still uses that strong wrist to turn the ball, and leads the side with so much authority and class.
Warne is a living legend, one of the finest cricketers of our times along with Sachin Tendulkar.
Despite his retirement from international cricket for four years, I can safely say he is still the best leg spinner in the world.
It’s not easy to pick up your body and play at this level when ten out of 12 months you are away from active cricket.
But he manages it with such ease. Everyone is aware of Warne’s capacity as a bowler. But what IPL has shown us is his captaincy skills. In the very first year, when people wrote them off as a weak team, he led Royals to the title.
He is a master strategist. Warne has great cricket sense and he uses it to the most. If a player has the ability of seven on a scale of ten, he will manage to get 9 out of him.
That makes him a truly exceptional leader. At times I wonder why Australia never used Warne as a captain.
Just a look at our last game shows how well he understood the conditions. Obviously it was their home ground, but it was not a typical T20 wicket and the ball wasn’t coming on the bat. He used field positions to perfection and rotated his bowlers very effectively.
They also responded to the situation and bowled in good areas to choke us.
As a result, our batting got strangled. We didn’t put enough runs on the board to defend. It was a good learning curve, a wake-up call for us.
This was just a blip in our performance and will help Mumbai Indians to prepare better in the future. Our next stop is Kings XI Punjab at home.
They are another hardworking team with a very efficient style of cricket. We are ready for their challenge and won’t
take anything for granted. PMG