Pakistan v England Tests

Yasir 'best in world', says Warne

Aussie great lavishes praise on Pakistan leg-spinner after meeting in Sharjah

Mazher Arshad, in Sharjah

29 October 2015, 10:20 PM

Shane Warne has declared Yasir Shah as "probably the best leg-spinner in the world" after working with the highly-rated Pakistan spinner in Sharjah on Thursday.

The legendary Australian leg-spinner spent 90 minutes working with Yasir alongside Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam and bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, while the two other spinners from the Pakistan camp, Zulfiqar Babar and Bilal Asif, later joined Warne to get some useful tips.

Warne also had a bowl on one of the pitches at Sharjah, which is set to host the third Test between England and Pakistan from November 1.

Warne said Yasir is a gifted bowler who has "more natural talent" than he had. 

"He is probably the best leg-spinner in the world," Warne said.

"The way the ball comes out of his hand, it is just absolutely fantastic. It is as good a leg-break that you can possibly see.

"Probably I am a bit biased for leg-spinners, and it is nice to see both Shah and (Adil) Rashid in this series."

The 29-year Pakistan leg-spinner cherished the opportunity to learn from Warne.

"I had a wish from my childhood to bowl alongside him," Yasir said. "I am very excited to have him here for me. 

"I am very happy to after getting his feedback. He speaks highly of me." 

All of Yasir's 11 Tests have been played in Asia, but Warne feels his skill set translates to any conditions. 

"I think he can be as effective in the foreign conditions as he is here," Warne said. "He has got all the toys. He has got a good wrong'un, a good straighter one and a ripping leg-break.

"I haven't seen too many leg breaks like that in all my years at the top level. He has as good a leg-break as I have ever seen. 

"If he thinks clearly and the captain backs him and brings him on at attacking times and not as an afterthought, then I think he will have a long career and will be very successful no matter what the conditions are."

Yasir, the quickest Pakistan bowler to reach 50 Test wickets, is the first spin bowler in history to reach 50 wickets in less than 10 months, and has 69 wickets in his 11 Tests. 

Warne, the second leading wicket-taker of all time (708), said he won't mind Yasir or any other bowler breaking his records.

"I hope he smashes my records; I hope everyone smashes them," he said. "I am not worried about the records. I am all about how you play the game. The statistics look after themselves if you do well.

"I just love watching cricketers play. I used to love watching Ian Botham play. I loved watching Wasim Akram play. I loved watching Viv Richards … how cool was it watching Viv Richards play? So I don't know all their stats. I don't know how many wickets they all took or runs they made, but I know they were great to watch. 

"And I hope that people just enjoy watching Yasir Shah bowl. So if he goes on to take break my records it will be fantastic. I will be the first one to congratulate him."

Warne, who is en route to the United States to play in the Cricket All-Stars T20 series, says he will be keeping an eye on the third Test between Pakistan and England, adding he would be happy to spend time with Rashid if England wants him to.

"I am not sure if I will be joining the England team tomorrow. If it is okay with them I will be happy to be with Adil Rashid, but because of today's work with Pakistan, if they don't want me, that is fine.

"It will be a great achievement for England to level the series. They have got the players to do it. I am sure they are practicing and ready to go. Pakistan is a tough side too and it is going to be a great Test match. Hopefully they will be showing it in New York somewhere so I can watch it."