Cricket legend Shane Warne has left out speedster Mitchell Starc from his Australian XI for the upcoming Ashes series in England.
Warne is extremely critical of Starc in recent times. After the first Test against India in Adelaide, the legendary leggie had said that the left-armer is now playing for his spot in the Australian team.
“I’ve dropped Mitchell Starc. I think he is still the best bowler if he is fit and bowling well, but I don’t think he has bowled well for a long period of time. The stats back that up against the top six batsmen he is averaging around 50,” Warne quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
He batted for James Pattinson’s inclusion in the Ashes squad. Pattinson has had a poor run with injuries in recent seasons, but has 70 Test wickets to his name in 17 Tests from 2011 to 2016. The 28-year-old pacer is currently playing in the Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat.
“Pattinson in English conditions will bowl well. His variety will make him a very handy bowler in English conditions with the duke ball,” Warne remarked.
The former leg-spinner also picked Marcus Stoinis to bat at No.6 and play as a genuine all-rounder.
“Stoinis I think deserves a chance. He has made some runs in all forms this year and he brings something to the table and he has a bit of an X-factor about him. I think he can take some handy wickets over there,” Warne opined.
He selected the banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner in the playing XI, but he had no room for tainted opener Cameron Bancroft.
“Warner and Harris open the batting and I think that is a very good opening combination. Khawaja is No.3 and Smith is one of the best batsmen in the world at No.4, if not the best. Shaun Marsh at five, but we are picking this as if the first Ashes Test is tomorrow,” Warne stated.
“There is two Tests to go against Sri Lanka and maybe an innings today, so that spot could be filled with a young player like Will Pucovski from Victoria or Glenn Maxwell or Travis Head. Peter Handscomb won’t be there.
“I’ve stuck with Shaun Marsh because I think he’s got the class with six Test hundreds and you are going to need experience against a quality England attack,” he concluded.
Shane Warne’s Ashes XI: Harris, Warner, Khawaja, Smith, S Marsh, Stoinis, Paine, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon, Hazlewood.