Warne has a few tricks ready for the Indians

Published: Sunday, September 26, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Mumbai:Leg-spin ace Shane Warne said on Sunday he had a few plans up his sleeves to deal with the Indian batsmen against whom he has had limited success in the past, and also felt Australia now have the best chance to beard the Indian lion in its den in three visits.

"I have been whacked around in the past by the Indian batsmen who are the best players of spin going around. I have a few plans for them (in the coming four-Test series) like mixing up my pace. Physically also this time I am injury free unlike in 1998 and 2001," Warne said in Mumbai on Sunday.

"In the 1998 series I suffered a shoulder injury and in 2001 I was coming off a finger operation. But this time I am in better shape and injury free - touch wood. I bowled well on the tour of Sri Lanka and the stint in English County cricket has also helped me. I am looking forward to the series," Warne said.

"I have tried bowling slower or a little bit quicker at times on the last two tours. In 1998 our quicks did not perform well and in 2001 we had a better quick attack and it was a very close series. (VVS) Laxman came up with that fabulous innings of 281 and the way he batted not much could have been done," Warne said.

Warne, who has taken only 29 wickets in 11 Tests against India out of his total haul of 527 wickets, also felt that this was the best chance the Aussies had of beating India in their soil in a Test series, a feat not achieved in 35 years.

"This is the best opportunity we have of beating India, though the task is not easy," the leg-spin ace said.

Explaining the reason for his optimistic prediction Warne said the Australian team now was very well balanced, though the loss of captain Ricky Pointing through injury for at least the initial stages of the tour was a big blow.

"The absence of Ricky is a huge loss. He's an excellent captain in the Mark Taylor mould. But the squad is very well balanced in pace and spin. There is also a good combination of right and left-handed batsmen and all-rounders," the Aussie stalwart said.

"This is probably my last tour to India. I am 35. We come every three or four years. I would be 39 when Australia come here next time and I may not be there. One thing I want to achieve is win a series in India. It's more important than getting back my world Test bowling record," the leading Australian Test wicket-taker said.

Warne did not buy the notion that Sachin Tendulkar would miss part of the series due to tennis elbow. "I expect Sachin to play in all four Tests. He will be fine, I have no doubt about that.

"In my 15 years in the game Tendulkar has been the best batsman. Navjot Sidhu, however, is the best player of spin I have bowled to and the hardest batsman I have faced," he said.

"There's the warm-up match here and ten days to go before the first Test (at Bangalore on October 6). I intend to bowl a lot at the nets, get used to the conditions as well as the SG ball which is different from the Kookaburras," Warne said.

Asked about his success against Rahul Dravid, Warne said he somehow knew how to bowl to "The Wall", having dismissed him 7 or 8 times in the past. "But he's as good a batsman as anyone else going around," he added.

Write Comments