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Liam Dawson looks to Shane Warne for inspiration and advice on forging top-level Test career

Dawson is to seek the advice of Shane Warne as he looks to build a Test career as England’s no 1 spin bowler.

Dawson played briefly with Warne at Hampshire as a young cricketer but is hoping to speak to him during the South Africa series to gain an insight into the psychological side of playing top level cricket.

Warne is usually very generous with his time and advice to young bowlers and the Hampshire link will help bring the pair together with the Australian commentating on this series for Sky Sports.
“I played a couple of games with him for Hampshire and I will try and catch up with him over the course of this series and have a chat with him about bowling,” said Dawson. “That would be a brilliant thing to do. Someone who is that good, been that successful and a legend of the game you can only pick their brains. You might pick up something that might give you a little edge when you are out there and that can only be a positive.”

Dawson admitted to nerves in the first innings of the Lord’s Test when he was expensive and failed to do the job Joe Root had asked, namely holding an end so Moeen Ali could attack. But he bowled better in the second innings when he was accurate and seemed more in control of his game. It was the first time Dawson had played a first-class match at Lord’s and the occasion got to him more than he was probably expecting having already made his Test debut last year in Chennai.

Dawson is now the senior spinner in the squad with Moeen given his wish to concentrate more on his batting. Both allrounders are primarily batsmen and Moeen is the better attacking spinner. England will look at some stage this summer to give Mason Crane a chance and when Chris Woakes is back to full fitness, Dawson’s batting at no 8 will become less relevant. But until then he has a chance to perform and keep his place in the side. England train at Trent Bridge today (thurs) for the first time since the Lord’s Test and are almost certain to pick an unchanged side giving Dawson a third cap.

“People probably watch me and think ‘you know he is not the best cricketer’ but I have got to use my cricket brain. That has always helped me for Hampshire,” said Dawson “That is another thing I pride myself on being smart and clever. I think I am always trying to get into a battle and enjoy it. It is nice when that happens. Test cricket is suited to that. It is hard.



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