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A test comeback for Warne? Australia are not that desperate
“Bowling, Shane” are not words English batsmen would want to hear ever again, but how would the Australians react to Shane Warne making an astonishing return to answer his nation’s plea for help in the wake of the second test defeat to the ‘Poms’?
To say Warne was England’s primary Ashes tormentor for years and years is an understatement. Every time the leg spinner had the ball in his hand he had the opposition quaking, and even off the pitch he was a handful.
Combined with the equally ruthless Glenn McGrath there has rarely been a finer wicket-making machine.
Now to say the Aussie attack is struggling is another understatement. Wickets rather than runs win matches and without the firepower to strike 20 times in a test match, for the first time since the 1980s the touring side could win the Ashes down under.
Cue calls for Warne’s return, even though he hasn’t played test cricket in four years. The selectors would probably be lambasted if they were to pick him, although the Australian said he was flattered by the talk.
But his selection would make a mockery of the current crop of Australian spinners, Steve Smith, Xavier Doherty and Warne’s tip Michael Beer, who toil away at their profession day in day out.
Imagine England overlooking seamers Chris Tremlett, Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan to fill the injured Stuart Broads’s boots in favour of Andrew Flintoff, who like Warne, has retired from the game.
That said, Australian captain Ricky Ponting is desperate to avoid defeat to England on his home turf and may accept any help he can get.
What would you do? Bring back Warne for the Perth test starting on Dec. 17? Or get out the Beer?
PHOTO: Australia’s former cricket player Shane Warne poses for a photograph at the Investec media centre during the lunch break at the second Ashes cricket test match between England and Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Philip Brown