Born on 13 September 1969 at Ferntree Gully, Melbourne. A leg spinner who has been included amongst Wisden's five best cricketers of the twentieth century and a right handed lower order batsman who can score a few runs, Shane Warne is one player who can change the tide of a match within the space of an over. He made an inauspicious debut against India in tests in 1991-92, at Sydney, when he finished with figures of 1-150. 111 tests later, he is the highest wicket taker in tests with 527 scalps. The wickets have come at 25.47 apiece with his best bowling figures being 8-71. He has also scored 2,326 runs at an average of 16.26 and has a highest score of 99. In 193 one-day internationals, Warne has scored 1,016 runs at an average of 13.02 and has captured 291 wickets at 25.82 apiece, with best figures of 5-33. He was nominated Wisden's Cricketer of the Year in 1994.
As a leggie, Warne is a genius. He turns the leg break prodigiously, perhaps more than anybody else in cricketing history. But he controls the amount of turn very cleverly, with little change in action, to deceive batsmen. Warne’s delivery that took Mike Gatting’s off stump after pitching outside leg stump and had the batsman completely squared is voted the ‘ball of the century’. His googly is deceptive, and his top spinner and flipper are almost impossible to detect. He walks into his delivery stride, and manages to put a lot of effort behind every delivery with a hop and with the help of huge shoulders. Warne is a thinking bowler who works on the batsman's mind before luring him into his trap.
Off the field, like any other genius, Warne tends to live with controversies. As a result, he lost his vice-captaincy of the Australian side a couple of years ago. At a recent ICC Awards function, he was declared the ‘best bowler’, with protests from the Sri Lankans who believe that Muralitharan deserved the award.
All said and done, nobody denies the fact that Warne has made ‘spin’ fashionable again and he has proved time and again that a good spinner can win one-day matches.