Want to be a professional cricketer?
India’s former batsman Mohammad Kaif had the experience of playing under the captaincy of Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne in the inaugural edition of the IPL 2008. Kaif has heaped praises on Warne and said that he was a captain who was ahead of his time. Meanwhile, not many people had put their money on Rajasthan Royals to win the opening season of the IPL.
In fact, the franchise was given a tag of the underdogs as not many big players except Warne were there in the team. However, Shane Warne was able to get the best out of his players and led the team to glory in the opening season of the league.
Shane Warne led with aplomb
Warne backed each and every player and his experience helped him in leading the side with aplomb. Not only Warne did the job as the captain but he also scalped 19 wickets in the 15 matches at an average of 21.26.
Overall, Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals in 55 IPL matches in which the team won on 30 occasions whereas they lost 24 and one match was tied. Thus, Warne had a winning percentage of 55.45.
“Shane Warne was ahead of his time. He started the concept of ‘horses for courses’ during IPL 2008. Warne got the best out of everyone. He had the quality of being flexible,” Kaif said while talking to Yusuf Pathan in an Instagram live interaction.
“We had a lot of changes on our side. There was no batting position fixed for any player. Warne told me to talk to the Indian guys, who were a little weak in English. I did not take IPL 2008 very seriously as not many of us had played the format, but when we started winning, I thought that this product would go a long way as the families started enjoying the tournament,” he further added.
On the other hand, Yusuf Pathan also played a key role in Rajasthan Royals going all the way in the maiden season of the IPL. Pathan scored 435 runs in 16 matches at an impressive strike rate of 179.01 and also scalped eight wickets. Pathan also joined Kaif in praising his former IPL captain.
“I remember Warne took our team meeting. He was very positive. He told it does not matter that we lost in the first match, but he emphasized the need for showing team-spirit and giving our best. He motivated all of us by giving a rousing speech and then he went on to say that we will go on to win the tournament. Every skipper in the world should look to learn from him,” said Pathan during the interaction.
“Warne told us that the management will back every player. We went on to win our matches from thereon. Every player got the backing and appreciation after every match. We then made it to the finals. Whenever I go to Rajasthan, I feel like I have gone back to the time in 2008,” he further added.
Shane Warne was able to tick the right boxes and led the team from the front. The legendary spinner scalped 57 wickets in 55 IPL matches at an average of 25.39.