Set phases to turn: Tribute to Shane Warne – Almanack
Andy Zaltzman’s tribute to Shane Warne originally appeared in the 2023 edition of Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack.
Shane Warne’s 15-year Test career can be statistically divided into four main phases: a brief apprenticeship, followed by two prolonged flowerings of unmatched mastery of cricket’s most difficult art, either side of a three-year relative slump, aggravated by injuries – and Indians.
Phase 1 encompasses his first eight Tests, from January 1992 to January 1993, in which he managed 14 wickets at almost 50. Starting against India, he became part of a list – now numbering 14 – of bowlers who in their first two Tests took no more than one wicket for at least 200 runs. Ten of the other 13 finished their career with fewer than five wickets; apart from Warne, only Andrew Caddick went beyond 30.