Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Shane Warne and Mind Games

So what is new?

I recently read somewhere that Shane Warne said that he had something like 8 names for the delivery that he bowled like a leggie but went straight on.

I didn't make much of the comment as it wasn't something new.

We all knew that.

But then I read some articles here and there that talked about how Shane Warne used mind games to get him all those wickets and that he used to talk the batsmen out.

Again, what is new about that?

As a mere viewer I knew that Warne had all off 2 deliveries with minor variations.

One was his leg break, some of which that turned a mile and others that turned just about enough.

The second one was his straighter one, which he bowled at a varying pace.

He rarely bowled the googly and his flipper, straighter one, the one that zipped through, were all one and the same; only differing in speed.

So if I knew that, you knew that, do you really think other batsmen did not?

Surely they would have known that all those different deliveries that Warne talked about were bluffs.

But knowing the deliveries and playing them are two entirely different things.

Plus Warne was the master of mind games. He read the batsmen well, he almost knew what the batsman was looking to do, and that is what got him all those wickets.

He may have had a lot of names for his deliveries, but even an average pacer has more varieties than Warne did.

But this is old news, is it not? Surely Warne has not suddenly opened our eyes to the fact that he really had only 2 deliveries.

What he has done though is made me wonder whether a spinner really needs so many variations.

Probably not.

Make your pitch on this post...

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15 Pitched:

  1. SM said...

    I too read the article .. I think he Shane Warne and his gimmicks can never stop to sieze

  2. Som said...

    Warne had a bouncer as well, I saw him bowling one to Azhar once.

  3. adverbin said...

    And most of us Indians criticised Kumble for his lack of variations, ignoring the fact that he was for a large part of his career the only matchwinner in the squad!

  4. Late Inswing said...

    Nice post Q.

    /*But knowing the deliveries and playing them are two entirely different things*/ That I suppose is the crux, plus Warne's masterly feel of the pulse of the game.

    While I have not read the article, I for one thought that terms like "Zooter" - were little more than fancy names and plant the seeds of doubt in his English and South African opponents.

  5. Q said...


    Never is appropriate SM..

  6. Q said...


    I remember that bouncer!

  7. Q said...


    I don't know why Kumble was criticized so much, esp since he was such a big match winner for India..

  8. Q said...


    Those were quite dumb opposition batsmen who got confused by all those fancy names..

  9. raj said...

    True, Q, those were some dumb batsmena. My question is this: those who criticise murali for cheap wickets against zim and bang, why should we consider dumb eng and sa batsmen better than zim and bang?
    So, can we subtract warne's cheap wickets against sa and eng and then compare with murali?so who's the all time best now? :-)

  10. Tifosi Guy said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Tifosi Guy said...


    Apologies mate for using your blog to settle this with the bloke below


    What dope you smoking ? Your logic makes no sense ! It's well known that Murali has a bagful of wickets against Zim/Bang - not his fault for SL playing those teams a lot. Fine. You play against who is put in front of you.

    Then you go about making a dumb statement ' subtract all the wickets Warne has taken against S Af and Eng' - yeah going by that shouldn't the same be done for Murali as well ???

    At this dumb proposal rate, you will then say oh why not subtract all wickets Warne has taken against Pak/SL as well and just compare what each has done against Ind. Just to suit your dumb statement.

    Fact of the matter is Warne took 708 test wickets, inspite of playing with Mcgrath who took 563 wickets, Gillespie who took 259 wickets and Lee who took close to 200 of his test wickets along with Warne.

    Compare that with what Murali had. Just Vaas. Not too hard then to imagine him getting bagfuls is it ?

    It's one thing to have an axe to grind against the Australians, and another to bring up baseless/dumb statements.


  12. Q said...


    Those who criticize Murali for taking cheap wickets don't know wat they r talking abt.. he took wickets against whoever he played.

    As for Warne.. he will remain a master no matter what.. I dont think the batsmen were dumb.. Warne made them look dumb ;-)

  13. Q said...


    No worries mate.. nothing like a good discussion..

    Waiting for Raj's response..

  14. Karthik Krishnaswamy said...

    Why does anything written about Warne provoke people into bringing Murali into the discussion (or vice versa) and then begin saying one is a genius and the other is rubbish? Jeez. Grow up, people.
    On the topic - bang on, Well Pitched. A great bowler needs only two variations, each of which he can land exactly where he wants - that's what separates Warne and Murali from most other spinners.
    Same with pacemen too. I remember reading about the Australian left armer Alan Davidson, who'd keep angling it away from the right hander all day, and slip in the inswinger only occasionally. The threat of the inswinger was more than enough to get batsmen to poke nervously outside their off stump.

  15. Q said...


    Welcome to Well Pitched and thank u for your comment.

    Ur spot on regarding Alan Davidson.. wonder then why bowlers like Mendis look for so much variety..

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