SYDNEY: Former Australian leg spinner Stuart MacGill has backed a return to the Test team for Shane Warne, saying he is good enough but needs to prove he has the stamina to cope with the five-day game.
A dearth of top-quality spinners has fuelled a campaign to bring back Warne, with the 43-year-old doing little to douse the speculation, recently saying he “absolutely no doubt” he could bowl successfully at Test level again.
MacGill, who took 82 of his 208 Test wickets playing alongside Warne, said he would pick him.
“I'd play him,” he told Sydney's Sun-Herald.
“Should he be picked? If any selector said he shouldn't be picked, that it's not in the best interests of Australian cricket, I laugh at them.
“I'm interested in Australian cricket winning. Not in 10 or 15 years, but every day.
“The best way to win in 10 or 15 years is for it to be on the tail end of a huge streak. You pick your best team on any given day and if Shane Warne is available, then he's in it.”
Earlier this month, Warne said that if Australian skipper Michael Clarke suggested his services were needed for the Ashes campaign against England next year, he would give it some serious thought.
Warne, regarded as one of the game's greatest players, quit Tests in 2007 but is still playing in the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League.
“The only question that needs to be asked is whether he can physically (perform) all day for a couple of days – but he would know that,” MacGill said.
MacGill, who retired from international cricket in 2008 with 208 Test wickets at an average of 29.02, added that was “disappointed” with the recent performances of current Test spinner Nathan Lyon.
“Right from the start, he bowls too fast and too straight,” he said.
“If I were Nathan Lyon at the moment, the number one thing I'd be looking at is getting my line right.”