Sunil Gavaskar says Shane Warne was NOT greatest spinner, blames Aussie legend’s lifestyle for his death
Gavaskar was asked if the Australian, who took 708 Test wickets, was the greatest spinner he has seen, the former India captain said he rated India's spinners and former Sri Lanka bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who bagged 800 Test wickets in his career, higher than Warne.
Batting icon Sunil Gavaskar feels the late Shane Warne sent down ''magic deliveries'' and mastered a difficult craft during his career but the Australian wasn't the greatest spinner of all time as his performance in India was ''pretty ordinary''.
"Warne mastered a craft which is so difficult... wrist spin. To pick 700-plus wickets like he did in Test cricket, hundreds more in one-day cricket tells you how good a bowler he was,” Gavaskar said on 'India Today'.
"Finger spin is a lot easier, you have more control over what you want to bowl but leg-spin or wrist spin is tough. For him to have bowled the way he did, the way he seemed to create magic... at will was the reason he was revered all over the cricketing world," he added.
Shane Warne's career in Stats:
Balls Bowled: 40,705
5-wkt hauls: 37
10-wkt hauls: 10
Warne took 96 Test wickets in 2005, which is still the highest number of wickets taken in a calendar year.
He was the 1st bowler to pick 700 Test wickets. #ShaneWarne pic.twitter.com/3IWk4nLP7x — Aayush Sharma (@JournoAayu) March 5, 2022
But when Gavaskar was asked if the Australian, who took 708 Test wickets, was the greatest spinner he has seen, the former India captain said he rated India's spinners and former Sri Lanka bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who bagged 800 Test wickets in his career, higher than Warne.
''No, I wouldn't say that no. For me, the Indian spinners and Muttiah Muralitharan were certainly better than Shane Warne,'' Gavaskar said.
''Because look at Shane Warne's record against India. It was pretty ordinary. In India, he got five wickets only once in Nagpur, and that too because Zaheer Khan swung wildly against him to give him a fifer,” he added.
The timing of Gavaskar's comments upset some of Warne's legion of Indian fans, particularly his suggestion that the Australian's lifestyle had contributed to his early death.
"He was always looking to live life fully, king size as they call it and he did that and maybe because he lived life in such a manner is perhaps the reason why his heart couldn't take it and he passed away so soon," Gavaskar said.