Shane Warne's spin mantra for Michael Clarke ahead of semi-final clash against India
Melbourne, March 25 (IANS) Ahead of their crucial cricket World Cup semi-final match against India on Thursday, Australian leg-spin legend Shane Warne bowled to national captain Michael Clarke at Wednesday's practice session to prepare him against the defending champions' spinners.
One of the greatest bowlers of all time, Warne rolled back the clock, and his arm over a few times, when he bowled to Clarke at the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), reports Fox Sports.
Warne's involvement comes in the wake of a buzz around the SCG pitch. Although it has not been cleared whether it will be a greenish or a flat track, the two-time Cup champions will look to unleash their spin duo of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-armer Ravindra Jadeja.
If the SCG lays a dry track, Australia's left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty may get a look in. However, that ploy might play into the hands of the Indians, who are more comfortable facing slow bowling.
Apart from the spinning duo, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also prefers using part-time slow bowlers Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma in helpful conditions.
Interestingly, Warne, who had some magic moments at the SCG as he took 64 Test wickets in 14 games and 43 One-Day International (ODI) scalps in 26 matches there, had an inauspicious debut here 23 years ago. Bowling against India, he was belted to all corners by the World Cup team's manager Ravi Shastri, conceding 1-150.
A year later he went for 1-116 against the West Indies and his career was on the ropes, but a match-winning performance later that summer confirmed his place in the squad. And in the SCG Test of 1993-94, he claimed 12 South African wickets for 128.