Even in white-ball cricket Warnie was the king – Mahela Jayawardena

When it came to creating pressure Warnie was a master. I first played him in 1999 during our home series against Australia. As a 20-something facing Warnie, at his peak, for the first time was definitely a challenge. Straightway you could gauge his intelligence in how he set up his fields, getting batters to hit certain gaps so he could look at getting them out. And in conditions he couldn’t control, he would manoeuvre fielders around. For a batter it was a constant battle.

I remember in that Kandy Test how he opened up the midwicket gap when I was in my 40s and that tempted me to charge Warnie – the leading edge went straight to the fielder. He understood that the young cricketer has ego and thinks: “I’m going to hit Warnie through the gap”. On a turning wicket, for a right-hander, that was risky, but that was the kind of mindset Warnie possessed.

Leave a Comment

One Comment

  1. Warne wasn’t my favorite growing up in the 90’s when Aus was the enemy in cricket and Warne had his constant spats with one or another, usually Arjuna. But, he is one guy I would pay money to watch everyday – he was simply a genius, way ahead of his time, mastering the hardest art of cricket in Aus. Followed his entire career from ball one at the SCG to being thrown out of the WC for taking a drug to the Gatting ball. He was a good slipper and reliable lower order batter and probably would have captained Aus if not for is off road antics. Even as a commentator, he was just better than the rest. We may not have liked him due the rivalry but there comes a time when you just need to take your cap off to one of the greatest and Shane Warne is one of the greatest.