‘Warne’s variations made him a tough competitor’- Shiv Chanderpaul
By Avenash Ramzan
The Caribbean’s most capped Test player, reacting to the death of the Australian leg-spinner on Friday, told News Room Sport that Warne was a fierce competitor, one who was not afraid to match his words with action.
“He was always in your face…,” Chanderpaul said of Warne, who died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 52.
“…and he wasn’t afraid to match his words with action, because he had so many variations.”
“He was certainly one of the toughest spinners (to face). He never backed down; he was always up for a challenge.”
Back in November 1996 during the West Indies tour of Australia, a young Chanderpaul, 22 at the time, took on Warne at the Sydney Cricket Ground on his way to a shot-filled 71 off 68 balls (10x4s; 95 minutes).
The brisk innings ended when Warne produced a delivery that turned almost square and crashed into middle stump moments before lunch, extending Chanderpaul’s wait for a maiden Test hundred.
Up until that point, the Guyanese left-hander, who would go on to end his career with 30 Test centuries, was dominating the head-to-head battle with the ‘leggie’.
“That’s the type of player he was, never out of the game,” Chanderpaul, who scored 11,867 Test runs at 51.37, reflected.
“That was certainly one of the best balls from a spinner. His variation was really his strength and he never really backed down…he was really a tough opponent.”
Warne’s 15-year international career yielded 708 wickets from 145 Test matches and 293 wickets from 194 One-Day Internationals.
He is widely regarded as the greatest leg-spinner to have ever played the game.