Shane Warne is considered as one of the greatest ever to play the game. Cricket hasn't seen a leg-spinner with the consistency and guile of Warne. He made headlines on the field and off the field. When he wasn't being revered for his wicket-taking deliveries on the pitch, Warne was facing a lot of media scrutiny off the field for his flamboyant lifestyle.
Warne is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of Test cricket with 708 scalps in 145 matches. Despite being under the microscope all the time in his career, Warne continued to churn out the results for Australia on the field. He was involved in a lot of controversies during the course of his career but kept his head when he stepped onto the field as he emerged as Australia's greatest spin bowler.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke recalled how Warne coped with all the pressures off the field. Clarke hailed the mental fortitude of Warne as he called it his greatest strength.
"He would always leave the things happening off the field, off the field. Generally, Warnie would have a smoke as he was walking onto the ground. He will try to hide it somewhere. And when he finished his smoke and put it out, he knew that it was game time. He crossed that line and whatever he had going off the field, he would leave it there, go and do his stuff on the field and when he came back, he knew it was still going to be there," Clarke said on the Uncensored Podcast.
"I think that was his greatest strength, how mentally strong he was to still be able to perform when he had so much media pressure off the field with his life. He had it all his career."
Warne also improved his batting in the later part of his career. Warne scored 249 runs in the Ashes series as Australia whitewashed England 5-0. Clarke praised his batting in the same interview.
"In 2005 he was absolutely genius with bat and ball. You don't see that often, Warne making runs with the bat."