Australia coach Darren Lehmann set to confront spin legend over his 'soft' comment towards heat-affected paceman Mitchell Starc
Brisbane: Shane Warne was in damage control yesterday after Australia coach Darren Lehmann threatened to confront him after the spin great blasted fast bowler Mitchell Starc as "soft".
Shane Warne and Darren Lehmann
During a commentary stint during the second Test in Brisbane on Wednesday, Warne demanded more aggression from an Australian team wilting in blistering heat during the second Test against India, singling out Starc.
"He has to change his body language, it needs to be stronger — he looks a bit soft," Warne said on Channel Nine. "He needs to puff his chest out a bit, look harder."
Lehmann was not impressed when later told of the comment. "Soft? He used those words?," he said. "That's very harsh. I will take it up with Shane myself."
Warne backtracked, saying: "I never at any stage called Mitchell Starc soft. What I did do was say his body language and his presence gave the appearance of being nonchalant and he needed to improve on his body language, it all was a bit nice and soft and easy, not him. I stand by what I said."
Australia's Peter Siddle comforts his drained teammate Mitchell Starc on Day One of the Brisbane Test against India on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
Brisbane was a happy hunting ground for Warne. In fact, it was his most successful of all venues he played in – 68 wickets in 11 Tests but it's a controversial venue too.
In the 1999 Test against Pakistan, a microphone picked up someone referring to debutant Scott Muller with the words, "can't bowl, can't throw" Warne was blamed but he procured footage to prove that it was not him. Muller refused to be convinced though. Later, a television cameraman claimed responsibility for the utterance.