The "Pluperfect Prestissimo Player" of the game

I haven't heard that phrase in a very long time. Simon Barnes uses Rudyard Kipling (From "The Day's Work - The Maltese Cat") to laud Shane Warne in his match report after the first day's play. I went through quite a few reports, I rate this the best.
He amazed without surprising, and he inflicted his will on England. As we move towards the climax of this impossible series, it becomes increasingly clear that we are not witnessing England versus Australia. We are watching England v Warne, and it is still in the balance.

So True. With due respect to the likes of McGrath and Ponting, irrespective of the outcome of this game, this series would always be remembered as the one where the English battled against a one man army.
In a passage of play that was Jordan-esque, he took four wickets. He didn’t do this through extravagant bowling, spitting menace and lavish turn. It wasn’t the moment or the pitch for that. He did it by means of an armoury of subtle variations and the unsubtle infliction of the will.

Infliction of the will.. Well, Shane wasn't the only one inflicting his will on the first day. There was Straussy who seemed keen on telling all and sundry that he is no longer Shane's Darryl (read "bunny") and then there was Freddie who was bent on displaying his own way of inflicting his will. Let the better "inflictor" win.

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