Warne keen to conquer the last frontier

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Cairns:Shane Warne says he's ready to make up for his great disappointments in India and help Australia to break through their last remaining cricketing challenge.

The champion leg-spinner, fresh from equalling Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan's world record of 527 wickets in Tuesday's second Test in Cairns against Sri Lanka, wants to end Australia's run of outs in India.

In six Tests and two tours to India, 34-year-old Warne has taken 20 wickets at an average of 52.25 runs conceded for each wicket taken - nearly double his career average.

"I've thought about the Indian tour," Warne said in Cairns on Wednesday.

"We've lost the two series I've played in India ... in my 13 years of international cricket it's the one place we haven't won.

"I've done well at times but over a full series they've played me better than anyone."

Warne believes the September tour will work out differently because he will be significantly fitter.

"On the two tours I've been on there they have played me extremely well but I wasn't fully fit either," he said.

"In 1998 I'd just had my shoulder operation and in 2001 I'd broken my finger."

Warne bowled unchanged for 37 overs and picked up 4-70 in the second innings as Sri Lanka clung on for a draw with just two wickets left after being set 355 runs to win off 85 overs.

That left him with 36 wickets from five Tests against Sri Lanka over the last five months.

Warne said he had to be careful over the next two months while playing English County cricket with Hampshire.

"I have to make sure I don't sink too many pints in England and keep myself fresh and ready to go," he said.

"Given how hot it (India) is, the crowds of people, the noise, it's a test on your fitness. There's a lot to play for ... it's the two best sides in the world and India is the hardest place to win in world cricket."

Warne said Australia had two things going for them in the next showdown with Sourav Ganguly's team.

He said his bowling had improved and the Australian batsmen now had a greater experience of subcontinental conditions, after sweeping aside Sri Lanka 3-0 in their series in Sri Lanka last March.

"I think our batters are a lot more equipped to deal with spin than last time," he said.

"They've played in Sri Lanka where (officials) prepared wickets for Murali last time and we played him very well and I'm bowling as well as I ever have. The way I've bowled in my last 15 or 20 Test matches is as good as I ever have."

Warne, who will be 35 during the Indian tour, said it would be his last tour of India and he wanted to prove himself there.

"You have to get wickets against the best sides. It's the last time I'm going to play a Test series in India and hopefully I can take a few wickets and we win."

Write Comments