Shane Warne indirectly played a part in Australia’s first-innings collapse in Dharmasala, where India’s debutant Kuldeep Yadav thanked the spin king for his guidance on guile.
Steve Smith’s side were cruising on day one of their Test series decider against India, rocketing to 1-144 early in the post-lunch session.
They were rolled for 300, with India to resume at 0-0 on Sunday morning after surviving one over.
Left-arm wrist spinner Yadav turned the high-stakes match on its head, grabbing three wickets as the visitors lost 4-34.
The 22-year-old clean bowled Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell, bamboozling them with late drift and a wrong ‘un respectively.
Yadav shed a tear when David Warner became his first Test wicket, then explained after play that Warne was partly responsible for the dismissal.
Warne, the legendary legspinner who claimed 708 Test wickets in a storied career, discussed the art of spin bowling with Yadav during last month’s Test in Pune.
“It was a flipper that I learned from Warne only, so it’s fun to learn it from him and then dismiss a batsman from his country,” Yadav said.
“Warne is my idol and I have followed him since childhood, even now I watch his videos.
“It was a dream come to true to meet and talk to my idol.
“I kept following what he said. Now he has promised to meet me again and hold a training session with me.”
Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg has also played a key role in Yadav’s development. The pair were teammates at Kolkata during last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.
Yadav shot to fame as a teenager who earned an IPL contract after shining at under-19 level.
He dismissed Sachin Tendulkar during an IPL net session in 2012, when the legend was in the twilight years of his celebrated career.
Tendulkar was among many pundits and past players to praise Yadav on Twitter.
“I am impressed with … (his) variations and the way he has started. Keep going strong, this can be your match to shine,” Tendulkar posted.
Yadav, who had been uncapped at international level, played 22 first-class games prior to making his Test debut.
It was a shock selection with batsman Shreyas Iyer widely expected to debut in the absence of injured captain Virat Kohli.
Matthew Wade denied the tweaker caught Australia by surprise.
“We have a look at everyone before the start of the series, so the boys were on top of what he was going to bowl,” Wader said.
“It’s different when you get out into a game.
“It took a couple of balls to get used to it … once you stayed out there for a little while, you got a read on him.
“He bowled a lot of legspinners with a scrambled seam and then his wrong’un was scrambled seam as well.”
Yadav was surprise and glad to hear Wade’s appraisal.
“It means they are facing difficulty,” he said.
“I don’t usually bowl with a scrambled seam, but I didn’t want to show them how I was delivering it.”