He has a natural talent for the convincing facade, hence his success in poker. It's what will make his media career watchable: there will be what he says and what he means, and the two will not necessarily match up.
His column in today's Times is a classic of the genre. Ravi Bopara is 'a bit flaky'. Michael Vaughan is 'not just a better batsmen than Bopara, I'd put him above everyone bar Pietersen. As long as he's making runs and can run between the wickets, he'd be in my team'.
'As with bowlers,' he goes on, 'you have to pick on form rather than reputation'.
So is Bopara dangerous or a dud? Does he really think Michael Vaughan is in form? Is this a straight one or a zooter? Can he still bowl that googly? Did he really need hair replacement? How many cards is he holding?
Ah, Shane. It's good to have you back.