Shane Warne © Getty Images
Shane Warne broke several records and was the first man to take 700 Test wickets © Getty Images

Shane Warne, born on September 13, 1969, was a legendary leg-spinner who dazzled the game with his breathtaking art. In a distinguished career, Warne broke several records and was the first man to take 700 Test wickets. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks seven statistics that reveal Warne’s genius.

1. Most wickets taken in Ashes cricket: Warne is the leading wicket-taker in Ashes cricket by miles. In 36 matches, he picked up 195 wickets at an average of 23.25. Glenn McGrath is second on the list with 157 scalps in 30 games.

2. Most wickets against a single opposition: Warne has taken 195 wickets against England, which is the most by any player against any opposition in Test cricket. Dennis Lilee is the second on the list with 167 against England.

3. Most wickets taken in a calendar year in history: Warne had a stellar year in 2005, when he took 96 Test wickets. That is the most number of wickets a bowler has taken in any calendar year in history. Out of those 96 wickets, 40 had come in the five-match Ashes series.

4. Most four-fors taken in World Cup semi-finals and finals: Warne featured in two World Cups during his career: 1996 and 1999. On both occasions, Australia went into the final, winning it in 1999. Warne has a total of three four-fors in World Cup semis and finals. In 1996, his four-wicket haul helped Australia snatch victory from the West Indies. In 1999, the four-for played a crucial game in that dramatic tie against South Africa and he then blew away Pakistan in the final. This record could have been a lot better had he played the 2003 World Cup.

5. Leader against the top sides: Muttiah Muralitharan has 800 wickets to his name and leads the charts ahead of Warne. However, out of those 800, 176 scalps came against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Warne, played only three Tests against those oppositions and took 17 wickets. Thus, he had taken a total of 691 wickets against the top Test sides when compared to 624 by Muralitharan.

6. Most Test runs without a ton: Warne will always regret missing out on a ton in Test cricket. He got into the 90s a few times and his highest score is 99, against New Zealand. With 3145 runs, he is the leader with the most runs without a Test ton. India’s Chetan Chauhan is next with 2084 runs.

7. Most catches taken for someone with more than 300 Test wickets: Warne took a total of 125 catches in 145 Tests, which is the most for anyone with 300 wickets. Ian Botham is the only other man with 300 wickets and 100 or more catches in Test cricket.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)