Australian spin legend Shane Warne said that the return Steve Smith and David Warner could be the catalyst Australia need for posing a challenge at the upcoming World Cup. “The way Australia are playing at the moment, I wouldn’t write them off and I think they can win the World Cup,” Warne is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“They just beat India in the T20 series and to chase 360 in India without Smith and Warner is an ominous sign for the rest of the World Cup competition.”
Smith and Warner recently completed their bans and were with the rest of the Australian squad in the UAE ahead of their five-match ODI series against Pakistan that starts on Friday. “I think Smith and Warner will be accepted with open arms. They have done their time. They are not bad people, they just made a bad mistake,” said Warne, who claimed 708 wickets for Australia in 145 Tests.
“When you have got that sort of class as a cricketer, they will go straight back into the World Cup squad.”
Australia have endured a lean run in recent years in ODI cricket and that poor form was aggravated with the bans imposed on captain Smith and Warner. But they were given when they remarkably beat India 3-2. It was the first time India lost a series at home since 2015 and the first time in over a decade that Australia won a bilateral in the country.
Smith and Warner after meeting the rest of the team in the UAE, said they received a warm welcome back into the squad. “It’s been awesome,” said Warner. “It’s like we didn’t really leave. The boys were very accepting of us coming in, with open arms and a lot of big hugs and cuddles and no it’s been great.”
“It seems like there’s a really good energy around the group at the moment coming of the back of what was a really terrific win in India. The spirits are really high and the boys have had a few down days, and slowly getting ready obviously for the upcoming series against Pakistan. But, it’s been great to be back around the group,” said Smith.