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    December 19, 2005

    Warne devalues a lot of Aussie performances

    On the second day of the WACA test against South Africa, Shane Warne went past Dennis Lillee's 24-year old record for the most wickets in a year when he ended up with 96 wickets in 2005. Clearly intoxicated by success, he ended up making uncharitable comments on Matthew Hayden's 380 against Zimbabwe, Glenn McGrath's 7/15 against Namibia, Brett Lee's hat-trick against Kenya, Adam Gilchrist's 172 against Zimbabwe, Damien Martyn's 22-ball fifty against Bangladesh and Darren Lehmann scoring 28 in an over against Namibia, among other feats by Australians against cricketing minnows.

    Speaking to "The Australian", he said
    It would be nice if it (the new record) lasted another 25 years, but I don't think it will. There's a lot more cricket being played these days and you have teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in there, with some teams playing them a lot more (than others). I've never played a Test against Bangladesh and only one against Zimbabwe, but there are some teams out there that play them a lot. And some blokes bowl at one end all day against those sort of countries and take lots of wickets. I'm sure that whoever those people are, they might get it (the record) next year.
    Shane, surely if Murali's wickets against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are worthless, so are the above Aussie achievements.

    Mind you, this isn't the first time you've left a bad taste in the mouth while referring to Murali. At least Murali can only be faulted for his on-field activities, unlike what you've been upto off the field, over the years.

    Should we compare how you fare against India? Ok, so if we leave out Murali's stats against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and yours against Zimbabwe, what happens? He has 457 wickets at 24.3 each and you have 639 wickets at 24.6 each. In 13 years since your debut [and Murali's as well], you've played 132 tests to Murali's 98. If we knock off 18 tests for Murali [v Bangladesh and Zimbabwe] and one for you, Murali averages 5.7 wickets per test while you average 4.8 per game.

    Stop making an ass of yourself, Shane. Nobody is perfect. I have a lot of respect for you, but you are already running out of excuses. Your place in cricket history is guaranteed, regardless of whether Murali eventually gets the record or not. It is not a zero sum game. The least you can do is to stop being a sourpuss and get on with your life.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 1:11 PM |
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    5 sledge(s):

    Good one Jagadish. Warne has this nasty habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Although, I am no fan of Murali (but that is point for another discussion), this is not the time to crib about it Shane !!

    By Blogger Crick_Love (19-Dec-2005, 5:17:00 PM)  

    I'm pretty sure Hayden, Lehmann, Lee, McGrath etc would also downplay all the performances you've mentioned. You can't hide from the fact that these sides aren't in the same league as the front line Test playing nations and only the desire to be "politically correct" stops most people from stating the facts. But that can only be solved by revoking Test playing status from some of these nations and developing the game more completely in those nations first.

    Hayden holding the "record" against Zimbabwe was a joke, and Lara fittingly reclaimed the record soon afterwards. Most of the other records were one day records and will never be held in the same regard as Test stuff anyway.

    As for off field antics - Murali has had his share too...

    Don't get me started on the bent arm thing...

    So you're right, nobody's perfect, but to suggest Warne is anything less than the best spin bowler ever, will always ruffle my feathers ;-)

    By Blogger Stu (20-Dec-2005, 3:39:00 AM)  

    crick_love & Stu: I'm sure a lot of them are proud of their record, especially Hayden. I didn't suggest Warne wasn't the best spinner ever. What I did say was that he should stop whining and get on with the game. Murali's wickets will not necessarily make him a better spin bowler than Warne, just as no-one in his right mind would argue that Kapil was the best bowler of all time because he held the record for seven years or whatever. It isn't a zero sum game. Warne's remarks were unwarranted and uncharitable. Instead of accepting the adulation and basking in it, he's shooting from the hip. His remarks reveal a great deal of insecurity!

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Dec-2005, 11:01:00 AM)  

    you can't be considered the best player in the world if you don't have a descent bowling record against the best players of spin India, when the other guy gets wickets no matter the team. Any way Bradman is more famous for his 99.94 avg then anything else. Lara for his big scores. Murali will get his.

    By Anonymous prashanth (20-Dec-2005, 4:40:00 PM)  

    Prashanth: To some extent, yes. But Warne is great regardless of his record against India. I don't think it diminishes his achievements. If anything, it shows how well India's batsmen have played him, so credit to them. Warne isn't the first spinner to under-achieve against India, esp. in the last couple of decades. Qadir and Vettori are two names. Murali hasn't run through India the way he has against other sides.

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Dec-2005, 5:02:00 PM)  

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