Warne still has fire in his belly: Big Bash teammate

Melbourne: Despite being out of the game for months, Australian spin wizard Shane Warne still has same old, unwavering control over the ball and could still impart his deadly flippers with perfect accuracy, said his Melbourne teammate Alex Keath who faced him at a net session.

Victorian and Melbourne Stars coach Greg Shipperd picked batsman Alex Keath and another young batsman, Peter Handscomb, to face Warne in the nets on Tuesday, and to learn from the legendary leg-spinner while he tuned up for his return to competitive cricket -- Big Bash League.

The 42-year-old Warne ended his highly successful career after captaining the Rajasthan Royals in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League in May last year but announced return to the competitive cricket for the Melbourne Stars in Australia`s Twenty20 Big Bash tournament starting December 16.

Keath, after facing Warne at an informal net session at the MCG, said that the spin king still has the magic left in him and desire to succeed.

"It was really difficult," said Keath. "I hadn`t faced him before but from what I have seen on TV he has certainly got all the variations and with that iconic accuracy that we all know.

"He bowled a couple of flippers which came out all right and there actually were a couple of wrong `uns in there as well, so that might be one he unveils during the Big Bash. He was still very accurate and he`s certainly still got it. He seems very hungry for success," Keath was quoted as saying by `The Age`.

Keath believed that Warne would take wickets despite an eight-month hiatus since his retirement from the IPL.

"He did get a few wickets during the session. It was Twenty20 specific; we were trying to score runs and against Warnie it`s difficult enough just surviving, so we were up against it. We got a few away but he certainly got us out a few times.

"The control is just on a whole different level, to rip the ball that hard and land them in the right areas, not many bowlers even come close. He is on a different planet in terms of his control and his variations," added Keath.

PTI

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