There is a vast amount of mutual respect between the two legspinners – Yasir, who has climbed to No.2 in the world Test rankings, counts Warne as a hero and he in turns says Yasir is a “fantastic, wonderful bowler” – and Warne, who is due to leave on Friday, suggested he would try to join a Pakistan net session ahead of the final Test in Sharjah.
Warne has previously met Yasir in Adelaide during the World Cup and has chatted with him again since – although admitted a few language issues – and as he prepares for a return to cricket in his All Stars venture in the USA he was enthused about forming a legspin pairing, however briefly.
“I would love to have another session with him,” he said. “If I can find some time this week I’d love to go down and have a bowl with him. I’m looking to get as much practice as I can.”
Warne, who was in Dubai to launch the Icons of Cricket golf event, was flying as Yasir took four wickets, including the last one of Adil Rashid with just 6.3 overs remaining, to clinch the second Test but had seen enough to be further impressed, although he did have some words of advice.
“I think he’s a fantastic, wonderful bowler,” Warne said. “Sometimes, from what I’ve seen, he looks a bit impatient – he has all the toys, he just needs to slow down a little bit, take a breath. Just chill out and set a batsman up a little bit more rather than just ripping legbreaks, wrong ‘uns, straight ones, going around the wicket, over the wicket. He just needs to toil away a little more.”
Warne also had further words of encouragement for Rashid who claimed just 2 for 191 in Dubai after almost conjuring a remarkable victory for England in Abu Dhabi with 5 for 64 in the second innings.
“They are completely different bowlers, Yasir is a real hustle-and-bustle legspinner, to me he’s the best in international cricket at the moment, and Rashid will hopefully get better. He’s not as fluent as someone like Yasir, but that doesn’t mean he’s not as effective. If he gets his confidence up I think he can be a real handful.”
Rashid has twice been thrust into bowling first with Alastair Cook losing both tosses so far and Warne said that the role was something even he had to learn during his career.
“I ended up doing it a lot,” he said. “I had to learn, it’s all the subtleties of a legspinner, patience, changing position on the crease, not bowling the same ball twice, don’t attack too much with the field, basically try to tie up an end – especially here where it’s so hot, so the quicks can rotate.
“It’s about trying to beat them in flight, get them driving. My line would change a bit, you’d go a bit wider, then you’d use the faster, straighter one as a major weapon. But the hard spun legbreak is the real key and you just had to try that as much as you could. That was basically it for the first two days.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.