No Warne against Proteas for the first time

December 3rd, 2008 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 3 (IANS) For the first time in 17 years, South Africa will face an Australia team that doesn’t include champion leg-spinner Shane Warne.The leggie has played in every Test series against South Africa since it was reinstated as a Test nation in 1991. Warne has also enjoyed more success against the Proteas than any other bowler in history.

From 24 Tests, Warne got 130 wickets at an average of 24 and became a mental blockade for the South Africans. So much so that the Proteas were forced to employ a sports psychologist before their Australian tour in 2005.

Former Australian coach John Buchanan feels that the retirement of Warne won’t be a factor for Australia but feels that it will make the Proteas feel confident.

“If you go into a series and one of your nemeses is no longer part of the opposition - and I’m sure that would have consumed a lot of their thinking, a lot of their planning, a lot of their strategising in previous times - it may give them an opportunity to concentrate on what they want to do as opposed to trying to combat Warne or (Glenn) McGrath,” Buchanan was quoted as saying in The Australian.

But Australia has struggled to find a replacement for Warne since he retired after the 5-0 Ashes clean sweep against England in January last year.

Australia tried several spinners with only limited success including Stuart MacGill, Beau Casson and Nathan Hauritz, Victoria’s Cameron White and Tasmania’s Jason Krezja.

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