Batters hold the key to who wins Oz-Proteas series: Warne

December 17th, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec.17 (ANI): The top-order batsmen for Australia and South Africa will hold the key for who will be the victor, as both sides have good new-ball bowlers, says former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Warne says that this is where the series will be won or lost, and added that South Africa versus Australia battles have always had hype, but the Proteas have never lived up to the billing and have not been able to deliver.
He believes that Proteas skipper Graeme Smith has grown and matured, and has learned from his mistakes, which is a good sign for a leader.
Graeme (you could have called him Luna Park on the last tour of Australia) is ready for the challenge. I got to know him pretty well during the Indian Premier League with the Rajasthan Royals. We”d had our differences over the years, but they were quickly tossed aside once we were on the same team, says Warne.
Warne also says that Smith has a great sense of humour and that he liked his tough, uncompromising style.
Graeme took the opportunity to pick my brains about cricket, players and the tactical side of the game. We discussed playing against Australia and how South Africa has lacked a bit of flair, losing the big moments in matches against us. He had some very interesting thoughts on how to bowl to the Australian top order: Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and co. I just nodded, smiled and held my cards close to my chest, claims Warne in his article.
Warne believes that Makhaya Ntini will not last the series and, to me, will be the weak link.
He has lost a few yards in pace and will not trouble us. His spot could be in jeopardy after a couple of Tests. Captaincy and use of the spinners in the series will be intriguing; both captains will need to be imaginative and attacking, he concludes. (ANI)

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