Australia desperately need Steve Smith and David Warner back, feels Shane Warne

Both Smith and Warner are serving 12-month bans.

Shane Warne
Shane Warne. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne believes the national team ‘desperately’ needs Steve Smith and David Warner to return. According to Warne, both are ‘X-factor players’ and their services are needed now more than ever. Smith and Warner are currently serving a year-long back slapped on them by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket earlier this year.

Both Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans, while Bancroft was suspended for 9 months. The trio returned to Australia and held press conferences, where they repeatedly broke down and apologized for their involvement in the scandal. Smith and Warner were stripped of their leadership roles as well – Smith, in particular, cannot take up Australia’s captaincy even 12 months after he has served his ban.

As Australia are currently struggling in international cricket away from home, they will be hoping the banned duo are allowed to return to the side sooner than expected. Australia are scheduled to take on the no.1 Test team India later this year, and the absence of Smith and Warner could give the visitors the edge.

Smith and Warner amongst top five batsmen in the world: Shane Warne

“Australia will be pleading to have them back, they are two of the top five best batsmen in the world. Australia desperately need them,” Shane Warne was quoted as saying The Daily Telegraph.

Warne nevertheless believes Australia will be a tough side to beat when they travel to England for the 2019 Ashes. “I think Australia will give England a real run for their money next year. Australia haven’t really got too many X-factor players. But I don’t think Australia really fear England too much now either, aside from Jimmy Anderson bowling with the Dukes ball,” he added.

Steve Smith and David Warner are likely to be playing for Australia by the time the 2019 Ashes get underway, but the leg-spinner has warned the controversial duo to be ready for tough times as he believes a hostile reception is very much on the cards.

“It’s going to be tough for them at first. Forgiveness takes time, but there’s nothing like making a couple of hundreds in a row and people thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve missed this guy’. They have to be aware that they’re in for a bit of a hostile time around the world until they’ve earned the respect back,” Warne concluded.

Australia will also go into the 2019 World Cup in England as defending champions.

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