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Steve Smith and David Warner will play a huge role in Ashes, says Tim Paine after first Test series win as captain

Paine is excited to have the duo back in the mix.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia eventually tasted a Test series victory after over a year with a thumping 2-0 win over Sri Lanka and regained some confidence ahead of their next Test engagement. Though it is some time to go before the Baggy Greens play their next Test, given that it will be against rivals England, the Australians took the much-awaited win over Sri Lanka seriously. They wrapped up the second Test of the series against the Asians on Day 4 by bowling out the visitors for 149 to win by 366 runs.

Australian skipper Tim Paine, who won his first series as a captain, said he expects the two banned players – Steve Smith and David Warner to play a huge role for the side during the Ashes in July-September and felt that the team is in good space at the moment.

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Smith and Warner were handed over a year-long ban after their involvement in the Sandpaper scandal in South Africa last year and it will be over next month. The Kangaroos have struggled against all opponents in the last one year and lost their maiden Test series at home versus India recently.

Paine has had a terrible time as captain

Tim Paine succeeded Smith as the captain after the SA episode and Australia under him witnessed some forgettable defeats in this time. It included a 5-0 hammering in the ODIs against England and Paine was replaced by Aaron Finch in the ODIs recently in the series against South Africa at home. The two emphatic wins over Sri Lanka now makes the wicket-keeper-skipper a much more confident man.

“I think everyone to a degree has to earn their stripes. I think those two (Smith and Warmer) have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like,” Times of India cited quoting Paine as saying when asked whether he could view the duo walking back straight into the side.

“Look, I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us winning the series. That’s how I see how important they are to this team. We know how good they are and once their bans are up they’ll be welcomed back and they will win Test matches like they did before.”

Australia’s dominant win over the Sri Lankans coincided with England’s abject defeats to the Windies in a three-match series in the Caribbeans. They lost the first match by 381 runs and the second by 10 wickets.

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