Warne plotting England's Ashes downfall
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Warne plotting England's Ashes downfall

The spinner has played county cricket in England to get a closer look at their top batsmen.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 11:36 IST

The Ashes are still almost three months away but Shane Warne is already busy plotting Australia's revenge.

Warne has spent the off-season playing county cricket in England to get a closer look at their top batsmen and the master leg-spinner likes what he has seen.

Warne said England's new bold approach to batting unwittingly played into his hands because the risk of chasing quick runs increased his chances of getting wickets.

"It used to be a lot harder to get wickets because they used to pad me away and try and wear me down," Warne told reporters at a training camp in Queensland.

"Now they try to go after me, which is fantastic. It means I might go for a few more runs but it means I get a lot more wickets, which was proven in the last series."

Warne was easily Australia's most effective bowler in the last Ashes series in England in 2005, capturing 40 wickets, but his impressive performances were still not enough to stop England winning the series 2-1.

By their normal standards, the Australians played well below their best but have not lost a Test match since and Warne said they were supremely confident of making amends at home this year.

"If we play at our best, we should win the series," he said.

"There was only a couple of runs that decided the last Ashes. It was close but we weren't at our best and it showed.

"We've beaten everyone home and away but we had one hiccup last year with the Ashes series. This is not about revenge, it's more about us proving to ourselves we're still the best side in the world."

Speculation about his future never ends but Warne, who turns 37 next month, said he was enjoying his cricket more than ever and had no plans to retire regardless of the outcome of the Ashes.

"I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I'll play as long as I possibly can," he said.

"If I don't get any more injuries, who knows how long it will be? Two, three, four, five years, who knows.

"When that time comes, I think everybody will know but at the moment I love playing cricket.

"I enjoy the challenges that lie ahead from a team point of view and from an individual point of view.

"I'm looking forward to this Ashes series. It's going to be one of the best series as a player to play in."

First Published: Aug 30, 2006 11:17 IST