In a celebrated career spanning 15 years, Shane Warne took 708 and 293 wickets in Tests and ODIs, respectively, for Australia. Warne made his international debut in 1992 against India in Tests and retired from international cricket in 2007.
Warne, who bowled the 'Ball of the Century' on a damp Manchester pitch during the Ashes in 1993, is only behind Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan in the all-time list of wickets takers.
Warne (37) is also second in the list of most five-wicket hauls taken in Tests. Muralitharan heads this list with 67 five-fors. Post his international retirement, Shane Warne continued to play franchise cricket and led Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural Indian Premier League title in 2008.
Let’s take a look at five best spells of Shane Warne in his career.
5/33 Vs Australia (ODI, 1996)
Rated as one of the best bowling spells, Shane Warne’s only five-wicket haul in ODIs for Australia holds a special place in his career. After Tom Moody, Paul Reiffel and Greg Blewett rattled the West Indies top order in Sydney in the second ODI, Warne polished off the lower order taking the last five wickets to bowl the visitors out for a paltry 161. Warne’s victims included Roland Holder, Nixon McLean, Junior Murray, Kenny Benjamin and Courtney Walsh.
8/71 vs England (Ashes Test, 1994)
Warne’s magical figures of 8/71 in the first Ashes Test of 1994 set the tone for Australia in the series. On a wicket that was favouring fast bowlers, Warne spun a web around the English batters with his masterclass. After taking three wickets in England’s first innings, Shane Warne bettered his tally by taking eight wickets in 50.2 overs in the second to win Australia the match by 184 runs.
7/23 vs Pakistan (Test, 1995)
Another magical spell of Shane Warne that needs a mention was his seven-wicket burst against Pakistan in the first Test in Brisbane in 1995. After putting 463 on board, courtesy Steve Waugh’s 112, Warne had the whole Pakistan batting line-up in his spell, dismissing seven of the visiting batters and conceding just 23 runs. Pakistan were all out for 97. He followed it up with another four wickets in the second innings as Australia won by an innings and 126 runs.
4/51 vs England (Ashes Test, 1993)
Bowling for the first time in Ashes, Shane Warne’s ‘Ball of the Century’, also referred to as the Gatting Ball, was one of the biggest highlights of his international career. Against Mike Gatting in the first Test at Manchester, Shane Warne turned the ball sharply from way outside off-stump to remove the England great’s leg-stump that deviated almost 120 degrees. Warne finished with 4/51 in that first innings and followed it up with another four wickets in the second as Australia won the Test by 179 runs.
4/33 vs Pakistan (ICC World Cup Final 1999)
After his four-wicket haul in the semifinals against South Africa in the ICC Men’s World Cup 1999, Shane Warne did the star turn in the final too, versus Pakistan in London. Batting first, Pakistan looked completely clueless in front of Shane Warne as the likes of Izaz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Moin Khan and Wasim Akram fell prey to the Australian’s magic fingers as the 1992 champions Pakistan were all out for just 132. Warne took 4/33 in nine overs. Australia chased the target in just 20.1 overs to lift the title.