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  Friday, 6 April, 2001, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
Warne out by India
Shane Warne has few happy memories of bowling in India
by BBC Sport Online's Thrasy Petropoulos

One can only sympathise with Shane Warne.

After a Test series in which he was treated with scant respect by the Indian batsmen, he must surely have regarded the prospect of the one-day 'bashes' with little enthusiasm.

In the event, he only played in four of the five games and achieved excellent figures of three for 38 at Visakhapatnam.

But normal service was resumed in Goa when Warne - one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the 20th Century - managed nought for 62 from eight overs.

  Warne's Test record
v India 11 games,
29 wickets @ 55.45
v Pakistan 9 games,
49 wickets @ 21.88
v Sri Lanka 8 games,
23 wickets @ 30.70
v England 18 games,
87 wickets @ 24.29
v S Africa 12 games,
64 wickets @ 32.37
v W Indies 16 games,
49 wickets @ 32.37
v N Zealand 12 games,
69 wickets @ 21.03
v Zimbabwe 1 game,
6 wickets @ 22.83

It was a final sobering experience for Warne, who faces an Ashes tour of England later this year, with understudy Stuart MacGill straining at the leash.

Warne is the greatest wicket-taker among spinners in Test history, the greatest of all Australian bowlers, and, yes, one of the greatest characters in the game.

But skipper Steve Waugh said that his side could not be considered truly "great" unless they proved themselves able to win on all surfaces by beating India away.

By the same token, perhaps Warne cannot be considered great unless he has proved himself to be a master of all conditions.

Sadly for Warney's ego, there is a dent in his statistics that will probably never be fixed.

A total of 376 Test wickets at 26.62 is exceptional, but against India his record does not make happy reading - 11 matches, 29 wickets, average 55.45.

Statistics alone are not a true evaluation of a player; it is only in context that each performances can be rated.

Shane Warne bowling for Australia
Warne has overcome a series of injuries during his career

Consider, therefore, the recent Test series against India.

Warne contributed well to Australia's win in Mumbai by taking four for 47 in India's first innings.

But in next two matches, he took two for 65 and one for 152, and then two for 140 and nought for 41 as India won the series.

The final bowling stint would have been the most disappointing - though India no more than crept home by two wickets, Warne was treated with utter disdain.

In three matches Warne took 10 wickets at 50.50 (six at 76 discounting that first innings) while Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh ended with 32 wickets at 10.67.

The fact is that in 11 Tests in all against India, Warne has been unable to deliver a single match-winning performance.

But the blight on Warne's career is not the wickets that have got away, rather it is that a few batsmen have solved his mysteries after which he has been powerless to control them.

Perhaps Warne was still unaware of his magic powers when he made his Test debut against India in Sydney in 1992, when was first blunted by Ravi Shastri (206), and then taken apart by Sachin Tendulkar (148 not out).

When the teams next met, five years later in Madras, Tendulkar did it again - 155 not out in the second innings; Warne took one for 122 from 30 overs, and Australia lost by 179 runs.

Tendulkar managed only 79 in India's only innings in the next Test, but Mohammad Azharuddin chipped in with 163 not out.

VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid managed innings of 95 and 86 respectively for good measure.

Shane Warne is dismayed as VVS Laxman collects a boundary
Warne did not enjoy the Calcutta Test

On the current tour, Laxman and Dravid put on 376 in Calcutta as India won despite following on.

There is a pattern here - all are right-handed batsmen of no more than average height, unafraid to use their feet and attack every ball if the mood takes them.

But perhaps the finest exhibition against Warne came from Pakistan's Salim Malik in 1994-95, at a time when the spinner was at his most dangerous.

Malik was the first batsman to consistently pad away anything that pitched outside leg stump and to use his feet to drive everything else.

In the first Test of that series he scored 26 and 43 as Pakistan won by a single wicket. But in the next two, with Pakistan desperate to hold on to their 1-0 lead, he scored 33 and 237, and 75 and 143.

Other batsman from around the world have won more battles than they have lost against Warne, notably Brian Lara and Graham Gooch.

And the likes of Graham Thorpe, Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar have all made good use of their "left-handedness" to prosper against him.

But when it comes to mastering the so-called master, a clutch of Indian right-handers have cracked Warne's code.

See also:

06 Apr 01 | India v Australia
02 Apr 01 | India v Australia
31 Mar 01 | India v Australia
30 Mar 01 | India v Australia
28 Mar 01 | India v Australia
28 Mar 01 | India v Australia
27 Mar 01 | India v Australia
25 Mar 01 | India v Australia
03 Apr 01 | India v Australia
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