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Sight Screen

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Warne mystique

Simon Hughes, in the Telegraph, devotes his latest column to the leg spinner's continued stranglehold on England batsmen.
That said, Warne is by no means unplayable. Pietersen illustrated that, scoring 47 runs off the 63 balls he faced from his Hampshire colleague at Lord's. He obviously benefited from time in the nets against him, picked his variations, and his shot selection was appropriate. He forced Warne to alter his approach. What the other England batsmen need to do is stay in against him for a while, to get used to his rhythms and wiles and evaluate their options. Sure, this is not as simple as it sounds and it's not suddenly going to nullify his effect. But it might at least wipe that satisfied smile off his face.

And earlier in the same piece, this:
The slider is not a new delivery. Benaud himself bowled it in the 50s - he called it the "skidder" - and says he was taught it by an Australian leg-spinning predecessor, Doug Ring (wrist spinners communicate like members of the magic circle). Warne used it on the last tour here. Now he is fiendishly accurate with it. So, one ball that spins, and one ball that goes straight. That's it. A two-card trick.
It is knowing when to produce each card that defines his art, as his second-innings wickets at Lord's proved.

Reminded me of something we had done on Rediff, way back in 1998. I remember copping a fair bit of flak for this piece at the time (Mostly on the lines of who the **** are you and what makes you think you know more than all those batsmen who got out to him?)... but all these years later, I am still to find adequate reason to revise the opinion that is the leitmotif of this piece.


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