Warne uses brain power to win
Nine days and 12 matches into the inaugural Indian Premier League, only one captain among the eight has risen above the team by obliterating the individual performances of his team-mates and attaining a position bigger than the team itself.
It is Shane Warne of Team Jaipur. Officially, he is the only captain without an icon status in the league, but for the youngsters in the squad, he is truly an icon par excellence.
The dynamic Aussie, captain-cum-coach of the team, has skilfully marshalled his troops by blending his cricketing skills and leadership qualities to perfection.
And the results are there to see as Team Jaipur have shed their underdog tag and emerged as frontrunners in the initial stage with three wins on the trot.
After a thoroughly professional display against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night, skipper-coach Warne disclosed the secret of his team's success. "In T20 competition, we try to do different plans every game depending on the wickets," said Warne.
"We don't use computers. We use our brains," said Warne, whose ambitions of being a full-time captain for Australia had gone up in smoke mainly due to off-field reasons.
Jaipur has chased down the opponent's target in all the three victories and the captain feels that for a young side it is better to bowl first, of course with due respect to the nature of the wickets provided for each game. "When you chase, you know what to do exactly and can plan accordingly.
The other day, we chased a huge total like 215 (against Team Hyderabad) and tonight, (Graeme) Smith and (Shane) Watson got the job done for us chasing a small total," said the affable cricketer who has contributed either with the ball or bat in all the victories.
In bowling, Warne believes that T20 is all about "mixing the pace up". "You have to change the angle, change the pace. You've to bowl full, length, everything. "There are days when you do go wrong but other days it is going to come off," stated the champion leggie, who emulated his compatriot Glenn McGrath to bowl only the second maiden over so far in the league.