ABU DHABI: Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah on Friday said he was inspired by legendary Shane Warne’s tweets during his spin demolition of Australia which helped Pakistan win a rare series last week.
Yasir, 28, took 12 wickets in two Tests – his first five-day matches – during Pakistan’s 2-0 win, their first over Australia in 20 years.
Yasir said Warne’s tweets during the series encouraged him.
“It’s very encouraging that a legend like Warne supported me so much and every day he tweeted,” Yasir told reporters.
“I have never met him but it’s my desire to meet him,” said Yasir of the Australian great who took 708 Test wickets during an illustrious career which ended in 2007.
Warne is the second highest Test wicket taker behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan who finished with a world record of 800.
Yasir said he started playing cricket only after watching the great spinner.
“I followed Warne in the beginning and my action was similar to his but then Aaqib Javed [former coach at Lahore academy] changed my action but he has always been my inspiration,” said Yasir.
Yasir said he was initially nervous when he made his debut in the Dubai Test.
“I was a bit nervous that I was in the Test team for the first time but coach Waqar [Younis] told me that you feel like you are playing a first class match, Mushtaq Ahmed [spin bowling coach] and then Misbah-ul Haq (captain) supported and motivated me a lot so I felt like playing a first class domestic match,” said Yasir.
“Misbah is captain of my first class team as well so it looked like I was playing a first class match.”
Yasir disagreed Pakistan’s domestic cricket is less competitive.
“Look, our domestic cricket is competitive, we have green pitches and it’s tough for spinners to get wickets so we have to work very hard and that’s helped me,” said Yasir, who reckoned Australian opener David Warner’s wicket as his most memorable.
“I got Warner after he got a hundred,” said Yasir of Australian opener’s dismissal for 133 in Dubai. “I had planned to get him out and it worked, that was my best wicket.”
Yasir said he was gearing up for the New Zealand series, starting with the first of three Tests in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.