Another milestone for the wizard
His outstanding variety and control have posed innumerable questions of batsmen, and, as Ian Chappell pointed out, the best part is that despite Warne being around for so long, the opposition still haven't figured him out. If anything, he has become even more potent in the last couple of years. The table below shows his progression to 700 wickets, and the striking aspect is that the last 296 wickets have only taken him 52 Tests - that's an average of 5.7 wickets per Test.
"If anyone beats it, they'll be bloody tired," Fred Trueman had said when asked if anyone would break his record of 307 wickets. Warne can say that a few times over. Before the Melbourne Test he had bowled an astounding 40,315 balls, becoming the first bowler to send down more than 40,000 deliveries in Tests.
|Bowler||Tests||Balls bowled||Balls per Test|
Warne's career summary says it all: he has an average of less than 30 against nine of the ten opposition line-ups, while his haul of 187 wickets against England (till tea on the opening day) is the highest by any bowler against them. The only team against whom he has struggled is India - his average against them is more than 47. He has poor numbers in India as well, but it isn't as if he hasn't had successes against teams from the subcontinent. In Sri Lanka he averages 20.45 per wicket, while his stats against Pakistan are phenomenal: 90 wickets in 15 Tests at 20.17.
Being part of an outstanding Australian line-up has also meant Warne has been on the winning side more often than most. Going into the Melbourne Test he had figured in 90 Test wins, and he is also the first bowler to take more than 500 wickets in victories, almost 100 clear of the second-placed Glenn McGrath.
|Shane Warne||90||501||22.52||26/ 7|
|Glenn McGrath||82||406||19.15||18/ 3|
|Muttiah Muralitharan||42||347||15.51||33/ 15|
|Anil Kumble||38||261||18.36||20/ 5|
|Malcolm Marshall||43||254||16.78||17/ 4|
|Courtney Walsh||52||239||19.72||10/ 2|
|Curtly Ambrose||44||229||16.86||13/ 3|
|Waqar Younis||39||222||18.20||14/ 4|
|Wasim Akram||41||211||18.48||13/ 2|
Over the course of so many battles Warne has had many batsmen he can claim to be his bunnies - Daryll Cullinan readily comes to mind, but there are plenty of others as well. The table below lists the batsmen who have lost more of their encounters against him. It's quite fitting that Strauss became his 700th victim: Warne has now nailed him eight times, conceding a paltry 17.75 runs per dismissal. For a full list of batsmen who have fallen to Warne most often, click here.
On the other hand, there are a few who have stood up to the Warne challenge rather well over the years, the most recent being Kevin Pietersen. Here're the names of the select group who can honestly claim to have had the upper hand in their battles against arguably the finest legspinner the game has seen.
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo