Shane Warne’s problem in India was that he simply tried to spin the ball too much since big turn never worried the Indian who have played it “almost from the cradle”,says his former teammate Matthew Hayden.
Hayden wrote in his autobiography “Standing My Ground” that Warne chose a wrong strategy in spin-friendly tracks of India by only thinking of turning the ball too much.
“I thought Warnie’s problem in India was simply that he tried to spin the ball too much. Big turn never worried the Indians. They have played it almost from the cradle.
“Warnie would have been better bowling a straighter line,keeping the pressure on with sliders and zooters and other more subtle tricks,” Hayden wrote while recalling how VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid orchestrated one of the most memorable Test wins after following-on at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001.
“There was no question Warnie had the ability to test the Indians,and it was never a matter of them being too good for him. He just had the wrong strategy,” he said.
He also said Warne would not have achieved much success had he been made Australian captain as he often wants to be on his own and the first one to break strict team rules.
“Strategically,Warne might have made a great Test captain,but I am not sure he’d have been as successful as the two men chosen ahead of him,Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting,because he would not have been as inclusive as they were,” Hayden wrote.
Hayden cited one instance when Warne gave a damn to the team rules — during the much-criticised boot camp conceived by coach John Buchanan as a means of team bonding before the 2006 Ashes in Australia.
“On first day,we were taken to a warehouse. All we were allowed to take was a backpack,a sleeping bag,a hutchie,a couple of shirts,two pairs of socks,some undies,joggers and small items. Predictably,Warne had too much stuff,including several packets of Benson & Hedges (cigarette),which were taboo.
“Warnie told (the main in charge) ‘they are medicinal. Just to set the record straight: I will do whatever you want me to do,but if these don’t go,the King’s is not going. So the iron-clad army rules were broken — in the first hour of the camp! … the King got his way,” Hayden said.
“I laughed at the incident … great talent often comes with a bit of rebelliousness. Deep down I had mixed feelings about Warnie getting away with it because the purpose of being there was to knuckle down and rebuild (after the 2005 Ashes humiliation in England). And if you were not going to be part of the solution,you were only creating more problems. The ‘my way or highway’ mentality was the reason for having the camp in the first place,” he wrote.
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