Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has declared “no one fears Australia” while targeting a number of the site’s underperforming stars.
Warne noted that there are “many gaps” in the Australian team, saying that the feeling of invincibility at home had long since disappeared.
Australia have not played a Test match since a 2-1 league loss to India last summer, which included a defeat to Gabba for the first time since 1988.
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While acknowledging that Australia will face a weak English team this summer, Warne told Fox Cricket that all is not well with the national side.
“When you think back to Australia and think back to the Ashes series in Australia, England have been very, very poor for a long time when it comes to Australia. But I just look at the Australian side and there are a lot of gaps,” he said.
“Our fast bowlers, Pat Cummins, do not seem to be galloping and we know he’s going to get good because he’s world class. But Starc is nowhere, (Josh) Hazlewood is bowling well.
Victorian coach Chris Rogers confirmed yesterday that rising star Will Pucovski is unlikely to be able to take the first test after his latest concussion. That leaves two spots in the top five in the air, with voters having to find an opening batman and a number five.
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor told Wide World of Sports last week that Usman Khawaja and Travis Head could fill those two places, though Marcus Harris is very much in doubt about partner Warner.
According to Warne, the top order is changing while Tim Paine was appointed for his tactical nous, something that Taylor also questioned after the loss to India.
“We have (David) Warner not running. Who should he open with?” asked Warne.
“(Marnus) Labuschagne and (Steve) Smith at three and four, but who’s going to hit (at) five? (Cameron) Green is still a young player who looks pretty good.
“Paine, he’s had a shock the last couple of years as captain, tactically he’s been very bad, lost the last two series and can’t cope.
“Our side is not so great, this ‘almighty Australia’.
“But here’s the big thing: No one fears Australia anymore. When they came to Australia, everyone used to go ‘oh, we’ll have to be the best we can be to compete at all.’ Now they just think they can beat Australia. – all pages. “
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