England still frightened of me, says Warne
by CricketArchive staff reporter

Player:SK Warne
Event:England in Australia 2006/07

DateLine: 1st December 2006


Master leg-spinner Shane Warne believes England remain scared of him despite the tourists' claims he is no longer their nemesis. Warne has fired back at Duncan Fletcher, claiming the England coach is trying to prop up fragile egos with his comments that the tourists played Test cricket's greatest wicket-taker "very, very well and positively" during their 277-run first Test pounding in Brisbane. Fletcher said this had been one of the positives to take into the second Test, starting Friday in Adelaide, despite Warne finishing with the second-innings wickets of four of England's top-six batsmen at the Gabba. "It's a real compliment for me and shows just how worried they are about spin," Warne wrote in his column in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper Thursday. "There are no secrets about England - they are searching for positives. Duncan is trying to build up a few players who aren't convinced and are really worried about spin. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood are obviously worried. I got Bell out as planned - I set him up for a slider exactly the same way as last year (Ashes series)." Warne said Kevin Pietersen, who thumped 92 in England's second innings, had been the only batsman to trouble him in Brisbane. "I don't think anything has changed," he said. "For all the talk about how a few of their players had improved, all I can see is the same stuff." Warne said the Australians had identified the major weaknesses of their opponents and it was now a matter of executing their plans on an Adelaide pitch on which he had experienced great success. "We know Andrew Strauss is susceptible to the hook shot. We know Cook around the wicket doesn't look very comfortable. We know I am all over Ian Bell and he still can't pick my straight one," he said. "Collingwood is a fighter but he had some luck." There is little friendliness between Warne and Fletcher, the newspaper said. Warne felt Fletcher was the man who sparked the rumours during the second Test at Edgbaston last year that Warne had instigated a verbal slanging match with skipper Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist after the Australians had opted to bowl first, it said. Warne's focus will be on the Adelaide Oval - a ground he has enjoyed playing on, with 51 wickets at 29.19 in 12 Tests. He took seven English wickets here four years ago, and claimed a second-innings haul of 6-80 against the West Indies last year. Warne has taken 176 of his 689 career Test wickets against England.


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