When you hear the name Shane Warne, the image that comes to the minds of cricket lovers is the ball known as the ‘Ball of the Century! The performance, described by the world as the ‘Ball of the Century, took place on June 4, 1993, at the Manchester Test in the Ashes. The magic ball came out of Shane Warne’s fingers on the second day of the first Test of the series.
Shane Warne was just a regular leg-spinner when he came to bowl against the England batsman Mike Gatting, who has a great record against spin bowling. Until then, he had taken 31 wickets in 11 Tests. The first ball against Gatting was literally the miracle of the century.
Right-handed English batsman Mike Gatting was on the crease when Australian captain Allan Border gives the ball to Shane Warn to bowl on a spin-assisting pitch. At the end of the short runup, Warne spun the leg-break ball and it moved towards the batsman first. Then there was an unexpected change of direction occurred in the air and the ball pitched outside the leg stump. Gatting placed the pad first in the direction of the ball and then the bat, blocking all means of access to the stumps.
But in an unexpected bounce, the ball flew higher than expected and bounced off the edge of the bat, just off the stumps. Gatting left the crease after staring at the pitch for a while in the middle.
Warne later took eight more wickets in the same Test. Warne has taken 35 wickets in just five Tests in the Ashes. Later, the cricketing world saw the golden age of the irreplaceable spinner Shane Warne.
Shane Warne is one of the greatest leg-spinners the cricketing world has ever seen. Warne, who made his Test debut in 1992, took 708 wickets in Test cricket. This was the record in world cricket until Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan broke it on December 3, 2007. While most of Muttiah Muralitharan’s wicket hunting has been on spin-friendly home pitches in general, Warne’s story is that he came from the homeland of pace bowlers and knocked down opponents!
Warne has been an undisputed force in world cricket since making his debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992. He was a member of the Australian team that won the 1999 World Cup. He was a member of the team that won the Ashes five times between 1993 and 2003. Warne also captained the Australian team in some ODIs and scored over 3,000 runs in his ODI career.
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