Not many people have succeeded in imitating Warne’s action
Former Australia batsman and captain Allan Border has called on aspiring leg-spinners to mimic ex-India spinner Anil Kumble’s action instead of blatantly looking to copy Shane Warne’s.
Border noted that Warne’s eight to nine steps before a small three-step run-up may have worked for him since he was a “freak”, but the Australian legend also advised youngsters not to look to the Ashes hero as their first point of inspiration for leg-spin bowling.
“Warnie was a freak,” News.com.au quoted Border as saying. “He had these big fingers, a strong wrist and shoulder and he could do it all off a few paces with a shuffle to the wicket. But I am wondering whether that is the right way for a lot of the bowlers who have tried to copy him.
“I see young teenagers try and bowl like Warnie and its very difficult for them because they don’t have that momentum at the crease. Most of them end up just being too slow through the air.
“You need to bowl reasonably quickly through the air as a leggie. I know everyone wants to bowl like Warnie but what if you are six-foot-three tall? Shouldn’t you try looking at someone like (India’s) Anil Kumble who hustles to the crease and can bowl at almost medium pace.”
Border believes it is time for young leg-spin bowlers to try a different style and emulate the action of another spinner who has a faster run-up.
“I reckon it might be time to try something new,” Border added. “I would not be surprised if, instead of having the Warnie shuffle, or next Test leg-spinner has a different style like a Kumble or someone who runs in quicker.”