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Can Warne's magic rescue struggling Aussies?

Last updated on: July 31, 2013 14:31 IST

Can Warne's magic rescue struggling Aussies?

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Struggling Australia have turned to Shane Warne to help their spinners ahead of the make-or-break third Ashes Test at Old Trafford. 

It was at the same venue 20 years ago that the ace spinner delivered the ball of the century.

Warne, who is in England as a television commentator, was asked by Australia coach Darren Lehmann to advise 19-year-old left-armer Ashton Agar and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

"We'd be made not to use Shane Warne and talk spin bowling to him," said Lehmann.

"It's not so much technical with him. It's more the mental side of it, the fields you want for certain players."


Image: Shane Warne
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Agar went wicketless at Lord's

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Agar went wicketless on a helpful pitch during the crushing 347-run defeat by England in the second Test at Lord's.

Meanwhile, Lyon, having seemingly established himself as Australia's premier spinner, is yet to play in this Ashes after being left out for the first two Tests in favour of the teenager.

But both sides could yet field two spinners at Old Trafford, with England having added left-armer Monty Panesar to a squad already containing in-form off-spinner Graeme Swann, as the Manchester ground has a deserved reputation for taking turn.

It was at Old Trafford in 1993 where Warne, making his Ashes debut, saw his first ball pitch outside leg-stump and then spin viciously across Mike Gatting to clip the top of the England batsman's off-bail.


Image: Ashton Agar
Photographs: Getty Images

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'Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to him'

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Warne went on to win six successive Ashes series, finishing with 708 Test wickets, after helping Australia secure a 5-0 series whitewash at Sydney in January 2007.

"When you see it in a compilation of sporting moments, that is pretty cool and it makes me feel humble and think how lucky I was to be there and how lucky it was to happen," Warne told cricket.com.au as part of 13 great Ashes moments.

A stunned Gatting stood his ground for several seconds with former Australia captain Richie Benaud, himself a highly accomplished leg-spinner, remarking during his television commentary: 'Gatting has absolutely no idea what has happened to him -- and he still doesn't know.'


Image: Shane Warne
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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'I thought it had missed everything'

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''The reason I stayed there wasn't because I was shocked but because I didn't hear anything. Normally you hear the ball hit the stumps, but it didn't, it just lifted the off bail.

"They then asked me nicely if I'd like to leave in that Australian way, and I did look bemused because I thought it had missed everything.

"He bowled a ball that had people in my dressing room gathered round the screen watching it at tea time. It was one of those things that possibly changed the whole series. Looking back now, it was a lovely thing to be a part of," Gatting said.


Image: Mike Gatting
Photographs: Graham Chadwick/ALLSPORT

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