Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne has put his weight behind Jhye Richardson to play the first Ashes Test, ahead of Mitchell Starc. The left-arm pacer was not in his usual elements during the recently concluded 20-20 World Cup. He picked nine wickets but was very expensive.
Starc’s dip in the form didn’t affect Australia as they went on to win the showpiece event. Warne feels Starc needs to find form and rhythm before being included in the playing XI. “He had a really poor (T20) World Cup (in the UAE). He’s just not bowling well enough. He needs to find a bit of rhythm and some form. It’s too important at the Gabba (the venue for the opening Ashes Test). So I’m all for Jhye Richardson (to replace him),” Warne told Fox Cricket on Tuesday.
Starc conceded a humongous 60 runs in his four overs in the finals against New Zealand. The left-arm pacer though remains a vital cog in the pace bowling department. Along with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, Starc forms a lethal pace attack. Meanwhile, Richardson has had a good start to his international career for Australia. He has also been consistently doing well in the Sheffield Shield. Richardson can generate swing, which makes him a handy operator, especially in conditions such as Gabba. Apart from backing Richardson, Warne has called for the inclusion of Mitchell Swepson in the playing XI alongside Nathan Lyon.
The cricketer-turned-expert feels Lyon has not performed well of late and Australia might want to play two spinners. “I hope (Mitchell) Swepson gives an option for the selectors then to say ‘well, you know, Nathan’s not bowling that well or we want to play two spinners’, put some pressure on Nathan Lyon.”