Warne slams ‘worst ever’ Aussie batsmen
SHANE Warne has called on Australia selectors to stick with Aaron Finch and believes his fellow Victorian should be considered as a future Test captain.
Finch scored 62 and 49 in his maiden two Test innings against Pakistan this week after being drafted into the side at the age of 31 to bolster a batting line-up that is missing the vastly experienced Steve Smith and David Warner.
With Australia facing a heavy defeat in Dubai, Warne said the team boasts the weakest batting line-up he can remember less than a year out from the defence of the Ashes in England.
Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be eligible for selection after their suspensions for the Cricket World Cup and the Ashes and Warne expects all three to walk straight back into the side.
"We need them," Warne said. "I think Australia's batting at the moment is the worst I have seen it.
"I hope they stick with Aaron Finch and he continues to makes some runs, he's someone that could captain the side."
Just like they did in the first innings, opening duo Finch and Usman Khawaja (50) had the scoreboard ticking over and quickly closed in on another 100-run opening stand.
Finch was beaten all ends up by an inswinging delivery from Mohammad Abbas that clattered into his pads and was going on to take middle and leg stump.
Channelling his inner Shane Watson, Finch opted to review the decision which did indeed show the ball would have uprooted his stumps.
Shaun Marsh then strolled out to the crease and in the blink of an eye was sent packing after edging the final ball of Abbas' over through to the keeper.
The nightmare wasn't over just yet though, next up it was Mitch Marsh's turn, but he was too slow to react and had the ball slam into his front pad.
In the space of 13 deliveries, Abbas tore away any faint hopes the Aussies had of claiming a historic victory in Dubai.
Mitch Marsh appeared to announce himself as a reliable Test player during last summer's
Ashes with the first two centuries of his career. But after beginning March's series in South Africa with a 96, he has scored six, four, 45, five, 16, four, 0, 12 and 0.
Shaun Marsh also tonned up twice against the Poms, but hasn't posted a half century since, reeling off scores of 40, 33, 24, one, 26, 0, 16, seven, seven and 0.
Khawaja and debutant Travis Head thankfully steadied the ship a little and saw out the remainder of the day's play as Australia made their way to 3/136.
The reputation of Smith, Warner and Bancroft has taken a battering both in Australia and internationally following the sandpaper incident during the fourth Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Warne conceded they will still need to demonstrate contrition, but insists selectors have little choice but to get them back in the side as soon as they are available.
"It takes time and they are going to need to earn the respect of the cricket community from around the world," he said.
"They need to get back the respect of the Australian public and that will only take time. It depends on how they come back and conduct themselves.
"But if they come back and make some hundreds then all will be forgotten and we'll be saying how much we missed them.
"Warner and Smith will definitely get back in Bancroft too and if you add them to (Usman) Khawaja and Shaun Marsh the batting line-up looks a lot better."