London: Spin legend Shane Warne on Wednesday squashed all speculations of his making a comeback to rescue the Australian side in the remaining Ashes Tests and urged the selectors to pick West Australian left-arm spinner Michael Beer for the third match at Perth.
“There has been a bit written in Australia and people have been asking me about making a comeback. I’m flattered that people want me to return in the Ashes for Australia, but I’d go for Michael Beer,” Warne wrote in his column in an English news daily.
Warne insisted that the selectors must think in terms of picking ‘horses for courses’ and the 26-year-old Beer, who took 16 wickets at 39.93 in his five first-class matches for the Warriors, has been doing well.
“Sometimes horses for courses works. Australia have to explore all options and win this next match to get back in this series,” said Warne.
The 41-year-old Victorian also added that since left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who was a ‘Ricky Ponting selection’, turned out to be a disappointment, so in the absence of any standout option, Beer’s knowledge of local conditions and experience at the WACA might just come in handy in the crucial third Ashes Test.
“Spin-bowling options are difficult. Xavier Doherty has not had an ideal situation to come in and play two Test matches. He (Doherty) has been behind the eight ball every time so it is very hard if they say, ‘sorry, you are out mate’.
“He was obviously a Ricky Ponting selection. He wanted him in, but given the situation of the series, Australia may need to go with an experienced player,” Warne wrote.
“We are now back to what I said before the series started. Where do they go? Do they opt for Nathan Hauritz or a wrist-spinner like Steve Smith? Do they play two spinners or none at all and prepare a green, grassy wicket in Perth?
“That would be a big gamble against England’s seam attack. The pitch is not fast and bouncy these days, so maybe you get a local guy who knows the Perth conditions, like left-arm spinner Michael Beer,” added Warne.
Warne also feels there might be a need to reassess the national team if ‘Australia get a real thumping by England’.
“If Australia lose this series badly, then that is the time to reassess everything and say ‘right, it is back to the drawing board’. That is still a while away and would only happen if they get a real thumping by England.”