He’s always been a player who could talk the talk and walk the walk. Shane Warne proved that he could still deliver, after telling TV viewers exactly how he intended to take a wicket. With the very next ball he succeeded.
Warne, playing for Melbourne Stars, was facing New Zealander Brendon McCullum of Brisbane Heat in a Twenty20 match at the Gabba. Warne was miked up and offering commentary for TV viewers.
"I think he might be trying to shape to sweep one after that first one," Warne observed, "so I'll try and slide one in there... fast." As predicted McCullum went down on to one knee for the attempted sweep, and Warne's quicker ball hit his middle stump.
McCullum’s team-mate Ryan Harris offered his admiration after the match. "They seem to do that, these legends of the game," Harris said, "calling the ball they're going to bowl and then bowling it. I recall Glenn McGrath did the same thing here a few years ago."
It was a demonstration of Warne’s continued ability to outthink top batsmen. It was also a return to form after Australia batsman David Warner had hit Warne’s bowling all over the ground in the previous week. The batsman had shown why the tournament is called the Big Bash by smashing a couple of sixes off Warne’s two overs.
Warne has never been a man to be dispirited by a few erratic balls though, and showed against Brisbane why he is making the short form cricket competition an alluring TV draw in Australia.