Warne tips Vics to break drought - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warne tips Vics to break drought

By Tom Wald 13/11/2002 10:28:19 PM Comments (0)

Captain Shane Warne sensed it might be Victoria's season to win the Pura Cup competition while preparing for a match to have any cricket nut salivating.

The four-day encounter between Western Australia and the Bushrangers at the WACA Ground will include one of the most intriguing match-ups in world cricket.

It will put the most destructive batsman in Adam Gilchrist against one of the brashest and greatest spin bowlers of all time in Warne.

Because of Warne's hectic international schedule last decade, he and his Australian gloveman Gilchrist have rarely played against each other.

In fact since Gilchrist's move from NSW to WA eight years they have met in just two first-class games.

And Warne, who has the wood on the dashing left-hander having picked him up cheaply on two occasions, looked forward to the challenge.

"As I have said, Gilly is a once in a lifetime player, he's just a wonderful batsman and his keeping has improved and he has done some wonderful work behind the stumps," Warne said.

"We have to make sure we bowl well to all those (Test) guys (Justin Langer, Damien Martyn and Gilchrist).

"We have all seen what Adam Gilchrist is capable of doing with the bat so it is important for our guys to execute the team plan."

Warne said an outright win against the Warriors would put Victoria in an excellent position to push for a spot in March's Pura Cup final and hopefully break Victoria's 12-year drought in the national competition.

"The bottom line is if we can come away with six points (here), we are twenty points from four games and to be in that situation after four matches when generally 30 points gets you into the Pura Cup final....."

"We've played in two Pura Cup finals in the last three years and I think this year could be the year of the Vics.

"We're playing very well and we're not going to get too ahead of ourselves, we just want to play good consistent cricket."

Victoria has not won the domestic four-day competition since 1990-91 despite making two of the last three finals only to lose to competition powerhouse Queensland in Brisbane.

Warne said new coach David Hookes and assistant and former Tasmanian Greg Shipperd were a major factor in Victoria's strong form early on in the season.

The Vics posted just 16 points last summer to finish second last but have already registered 14 this season from just three of the ten matches.

"He and Greg Shipperd have been absolutely sensational and they are a major reason why we are at the top of the table," said Warne who praised Hookes' forthright manner.

"As well as performing well I think these guys are getting the best out of our players."

Warne said it was important for members of the national team to play for their states as much as possible to support the domestic competition.

This round will be one of the rare opportunities this summer for Australian players turn out for their respective state sides.

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