Dec 18, 2008

Sport - Cricket;Smith says Warne spilled the beans,Warne denies

Sydney, Dec 17 (IANS) South African captain Graeme Smith has disclosed that spin king Shane Warne gave him an insight about Australian fallacies during their stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Warne was quick to refute this.

Smith said that he and Warne became great friends while playing for Rajasthan Royal where he got a chance to discuss the Australian batting order.

South Africa are currently playing the first of three Test series against Australia in Perth.

'My research for this tour probably began nine months ago when I played under Shane Warne's brilliant captaincy for Rajasthan Royals,' Smith wrote in his column in Daily Telegraph.

'Everyone knew that we weren't the best of mates before the IPL but not everyone knew that we finished the tournament as genuinely good mates.

'He has an incredible cricket brain which I was able to pick over the course of five or six weeks. This series seemed a long way in the future when I was asking him about Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting and he told me how he would try to get them out if he was captain,' Smith said.

Warne dismissed Smith's comments as a gimmick.

'We discussed playing against Australia and how South Africa has lacked a bit of flair, losing the big moments in matches against us. He had some very interesting thoughts on how to bowl to the Australian top order: Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and co,' Warne said in his column in Daily Telegraph.

'I just nodded, smiled and held my cards close to my chest. But I hear Smithy has now said their plans were mine. I had a huge chuckle to myself and thought, the mind games have started.

'The so-called tactics and plans for the Aussie batsmen - I can guarantee you - is South African spin. I look forward to catching up with Smithy at the Boxing Day Test and having a laugh about it,' he said.

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