It's a spin thing

It's fair to say that Shane Warne knows a thing or two about spin bowling.

Last Updated: 19/07/13 at 13:40 Post Comment

The Australian's lethal brand of twirl snared 708 Test scalps, placing him second on the all-time list behind Sri Lankan slow bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who ended his career with 800 victims.

And ahead of day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord's, Warne talked Sky Sports' Ian Ward through the art of spin, and you can watch his explanation by hitting the video above.

Steve Smith accounted for three England batsmen - Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior - during the evening session on day one, but neither the hosts nor the tourists have a frontline leg-spinner in the ranks.

Warne reckons that could be because skippers in the domestic game do not give their slow bowlers enough of an opportunity and urged them to not use spinners as a "last resort" if they want them to impact on games.

"I think in first-class cricket there is a real lack of understanding about spinners," said the Sky Sports commentator.

"They often bowl the last or second-last over before lunch as a token gesture and are almost the last resort.

Attitude

"Captains need to show confidence in a spinner early on, like Michael Clarke showed confidence in (medium-pacer) Shane Watson on day one of this Test.

"When things weren't happening early on, Watson came on and got the wicket [of Alastair Cook]."

Former England skipper Andrew Strauss, meanwhile, thinks captains become frustrated by leg spinners leaking runs - but admits that a quality exponent of leg breaks is a weapon worth having.

"'Nothing better than a good leg-spinner, nothing worse than a bad one' has been the attitude of English captains because it is hard to stop people scoring against them," said Strauss.

"They are likely to bowl one or two bad balls an over and captains run out of patience very quickly.

"But as we saw with Warne, when you do get it right you get the dual threat of massively turning balls but also the ability to turn the ball both ways, and that is very hard for a batsman to counteract."

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