Warne's pick for 'best teammate'

King of Spin offers some insights as to the best he played with and against during insightful chat

Cricket Network

11 June 2017, 01:29 PM

Shane Warne played with plenty of legends through a wonderful era of Australian cricket, but the King of Spin has nominated his first Test captain as the greatest teammate he lined up alongside.

Warne debuted in Baggy Green in January 1992, and went on to play his first 26 Tests under Allan Border, who he ranked the best player he played with ahead of fellow greats such as Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh.

Border was the second man to 10,000 runs and averaged more than 50 during a career that spanned 16 years at the top, and incorporated the awesome West Indian pace battery of the era.

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 The gritty left-hander was Australia's finest player through a challenging time for his country, ultimately leading them out of the mire and into World Cup glory in 1987, Ashes success in 1989, and paving the way for the golden period that followed.  

Speaking during a Facebook Live stream on his own page, Warne had no hesitation answering "Border" when asked the question, while his answer to the next question – who was the best player you played against – also required only one word.


Warne has long found it difficult to split Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar as the two best batsmen he bowled to, citing the West Indian's match-winning ability and the Indian's ultra-consistency as their finest traits.

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"Those two players were easily the best two batsmen," Warne told cricket.com.au last year. "To me, Sachin was the greatest all-round player; day-in, day-out, any conditions, pace versus spin, the expectations he was under (with) a billion people watching him.

"So I think for everything he had to deal with, and the way he went about it in the mid-90s was just unbelievable.

"He judged the length so quickly. He intimidated the quick bowlers, he had all the shots, and to the spinners, he always tried to dominate them.

"Brian, to me, I think if you had to send someone out when you needed 400 to win on the last day and you needed someone to make 200, you'd want Brian to be that guy.

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"He was flamboyant, he was wonderful to watch, he had a real flair about him with that huge back-lift. And he always seemed to hit the gaps – his placement of the ball was something that I thought was pretty special."

Warne unsurprisingly rated the MCG as his favourite venue, with a special mention for Lord's, and couldn't split his multiple Ashes victories as his fondest memories of playing against England.

"Just continually winning the Ashes, it's pretty hard to choose one," he said. "I think I played in eight or nine tournaments, we only lost one, in 2005, so probably every single Ashes series (are my favourite moments).

"And from an individual one I'd probably have to say the Gatting ball."

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The 48-year-old also reserved a cheeky sledge for another of his former captains, Mark Taylor.

"Worst dress-sense, Mark Taylor or Tim May – they always thought they looked cool, but they had no dress sense whatsoever," he laughed.

"Actually it would probably be Mark Taylor. He knows it too, Tubby."