Shane Warne told the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast that Steve Smith should focus on batting and not be reinstated as Australia captain.
Smith’s two-year leadership ban following the ball-tampering scandal has elapsed and he is now eligible to succeed Tim Paine as Test skipper.
However, Baggy Greens legend Warne says Paine — who steered Australia to an Ashes-retaining 2-2 draw in England last summer — should keep his job, while he insists Smith is not the only candidate to replace the current captain in the event that a lack of runs sees the 35-year-old dropped.
“I’m sure he could captain Australia again but if I was a selector I wouldn’t [go that way],” Warne said of Smith, who scored 774 runs in four Ashes Tests in 2019 at an average of 110.57, including three centuries.
Steve Smith has been happy letting his bat do the talking.Source:News Corp Australia
“I just want Smith to bat, I don’t want him to worry about the other stuff. I just want him to bat and bat and bat. He is a leader on the field anyway and I don’t think he needs to captain,” added Warne.
“I would keep Paine as captain as long as he is making runs. He has done a very good job as captain. It’s a different situation if Paine doesn’t make runs and is out of the side as then Smith comes back into calculations.
“But when everyone says there is no one else, it’s amazing who puts their hand up and you suddenly think ‘hang on, there might be’.
“Will it be Travis Head? We know how good a player he can be, although he finds a way to get out all the time around 40 or 50 having done all the hard work. He does a great job captaining South Australia.
“Why couldn’t Pat Cummins do it as a bowler? I think there will be other candidates by the time Paine decides to finish.”
WARNE REVEALS THE GREATEST AUSTRALIAN XI HE PLAYED ALONGSIDE
Shane Warne played in the golden generation of Aussie cricket.Source:News Corp Australia
Cricket legend Shane Warne has revealed the best eleven Test cricketers he ever played alongside, the starting XI featuring a few controversial calls.
Five years ago, Warne was asked to select the best eleven Test cricketers he ever played with, and contentiously omitted former captain Steve Waugh, opting instead for Michael Clarke.
Waugh played 168 Tests for Australia, plundering 32 centuries during a stellar international career.
In fact, for the duration of Warne’s 15-year Test career, only Ricky Ponting scored more runs for Australia.
However, during an Instagram live video on Monday, Warne backflipped on the decision and named both Waugh twins in his Australian XI.
Warne and Waugh have regularly voiced their dislike for one another in the past – the spin bowler labelled former his former skipper the most selfish cricketer he ever played with in his 2018 autobiography.
Perhaps Warne including Waugh in his Australian XI could be the start of the pair mending old wounds.
SHANE WARNE’S AUSTRALIAN XI (1992-2007)
Matthew Hayden – 8625 runs @ 50.73
Michael Slater – 5312 runs @ 42.83
Ricky Ponting – 13,378 runs @ 51.85
Mark Waugh – 8029 runs @ 41.81
Allan Border (c) – 11,174 runs @ 50.56
Steve Waugh – 10,927 runs @ 51.06
Adam Gilchrist – 5570 runs @ 47.60
Tim May – 75 wickets @ 34.74
Jason Gillespie – 259 wickets @ 26.13
Bruce Reid – 113 wickets @ 24.63
Glenn McGrath – 563 wickets @ 21.64
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