MUMBAI: Assessing and bringing out the best version of a player was something that came naturally to “incredible leader” Shane Warne, former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson said on Tuesday while Afghanistan star Rashid Khan revealed that he too dreamt of working under the tutelage of legendary spinner, who died recently.
Warne, who played 55 matches for Rajasthan Royals between 2008 and 2011, led the side to its only IPL title in the inaugural edition.
“The thing that stood out for me was that Rajasthan were written off because we didn’t have big names as compared to the other teams. The advantage that Rajasthan had was the ability to pull the the team together very quickly,” Watson said during a Delhi Capitals virtual press conference.
“The incredible skill that Shane Warne had was seeing what people’s roles were and then tap in to that role. For me, that was why he was an incredible leader because he knew how to tap into a players best version.
“He believed in the players, knew their skill set and where they fit in. For me, that’s why Rajasthan did so well in the first season. He pulled all these from different cultures and different phases of their careers and led from the front.”
Warne, who is credited with reviving the art of leg-spin bowling and took 708 wickets in 145 Tests in an illustrious career spanning 15 years, died of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, Thailand on March 4.
Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who was also left shocked by the news of Warne’s demise like the rest of the cricket fraternity, shared the memory of the time he had during a session at the MCG with the legend.
“It was huge shock. I had a great time with him. It was a huge honour for me that he called me to the MCG to have that 15 minute session with him during the lunch (break) of Australia-New Zealand match,” Rashid said in a virtual press conference.
“I was so lucky, I learnt so much from him. We had discussion on how I can be more effective in long format. He happily shared his experience with me.
“He shared those key points, the mind set, the skill set.”
Rashid revealed that Warne advised him to stick to his “unique” action and be more patient and work on his consistency.
“Only thing he said that ‘you don’t need to change your speed or action, that is something unique you have, you just need to be consistent, need to be more patient’. Sometimes you won’t get wicket but that is the time you will be tested mentally and also physically. You have to fit for those big games.”
“I was looking forward to having him as head coach and playing with him, spend more time with him. That was a dream. We discussed that. He said hopefully we will be in Hundred ball competition in UK,” Rashid added.