In the wake of England’s, Perth hammering it has come as no surprise to me to see Shane Warne criticising the way Andrew Strauss used Graeme Swann at Perth.
I’m never quite sure of Warne’s motives. Is he sticking up for the spinners union? Is he just trying to keep himself in the limelight by giving a spicy opinion for his column? Or is he acting as an Australian secret agent and trying to undermine England with some constructive criticism?
Does he see a chance to try and create a crack in the relationship between Strauss and Swann? After all, it is well known that Swann has previous (a long time ago) in being a touch temperamental.
He also knows that comments made by someone of his stature will be taken on board within the English ranks, despite denials to the contrary.
Of some of the other Telegraph columnists, I agree with Michael Vaughan’s view that it’s time to swap Collingwood and Bell around. Vaughan thinks Collingwood should go out and play some shots, I tend to agree with that, except for his chasing of wide outswingers.
Look at the series Mike Hussey has had, his career was all but over and as a result of this he seems to have gone out and played his shots in a more positive, nothing-to-lose, frame of mind. Maybe Colly needs to adopt that approach. He is getting out to nothing shots at the moment.
Sir Geoffrey was less diplomatic as usual. He said England went down without a fight, I half agree with that opinion. I thought the bowlers tried gamely, but as I wrote previously, I was very disappointed with the way our batting surrendered at the end of day 3, I did think it was a very weak effort.
Warne is just a sly so and so. Never take his word for what it is. He is always playing games, like he did when he was out in the middle. Many of his wickets were from sweetening up or pressuring the umpires. He even admitted himself that he had about 8 names for the ball that went straight on, just to confuse batsmen.
When he is commentating, you can almost feel he is either a) Talking to any opposition backroom staff (England’s in this case) that may be listening so that he influences them by suggestion, or b) Believes in the idea of kiss of death and uses it whenever possible.
I like Vaughan’s punditry. He’s very genuine.
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Yes, I remember watching many a game with Warne bowling and thinking ‘How the hell did he get that LBW decision’, totally down to who he was and his presence and the pressure he had built up on the umpire over previous overs, rather than the actual ball itself.
Like when he was playing, he is just a master of mind games and building pressure. He knows full well England will be aware of what he has said and he believes they will be thinking ‘Christ, Shane Warne said that, so there must be something in it’ and it will affect how England go about their business.
The beauty of it is though, that no matter how much Strauss and co try and ignore it, it probably will play on their minds.
Even though he’s an Aussie, I have to admit I’m a big fan.