Expect Smith, Warner to walk straight back in for World Cup

Were you shocked by Australia’s recent performances in ODIs or did you see it coming?
Well, I thought it was going to be tough for the Australians in England but I didn’t see it as bad as it has been. Obviously, the 481… that was a disastrous day and I expected that the bowling will struggle because you lost your three frontline bowlers. That was always going to be tough. But I didn’t think it would be as one-sided as it has been.
Has the bowling been an issue in the absence of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins?
The bowling has been a problem but the batting hasn’t held up its end of the bargain either. I think what’s pretty concerning for Australia is their on-going problem with their spin bowling. They get away to some good starts but the opposition always seems to pull things back by using spin bowlers in the middle overs and Australia lose wickets or get bogged down. And that’s an on-going problem. So that’s a concern for Australia.
How will Australia overcome their weakness against wristspin?
In the World Cup, the problem will be relieved a little bit with Smith and Warner back. Smith, in particular, is a very good player of spin bowling. So that will give them a bit more strength in the middle order but once you show this weakness, the opposition sides are going to play on it and there are a lot of good spin bowlers at the moment.
Wristspinners, particularly in the short versions of the game, are having a lot of success. So, the Australians will have to address the problem and a lot of the players who have played recently have struggled with spin bowling. Maybe, they’ve got to start looking at different players.
“England have played so well against Australia in this current series and also back in Australia that I think they have dented Australia’s confidence a bit”
Do you see Steven Smith and David Warner walking back to the team?
I’ll be very surprised if Smith and Warner don’t walk straight back into the Australian side. They’re far away the two best batsmen. It doesn’t matter virtually what version of the game you’re playing, they’re the two best players. And with their class – 12 months is a long time out of the game but they’re going to be playing different types of cricket. So I’d expect them to walk straight back into the side for the World Cup, unless they’re injured.
Why aren’t Australia looking at Lyon in the shorter formats?
Lyon hasn’t played [limited-overs cricket] a lot in the last couple of years but he was reasonably successful in the last game [at Chester-le-Street]. I think one of the problems is, in the shorter versions of the game, they’re looking for players who can do everything. Therefore, Ashton Agar has been preferred because he’s a pretty useful batsman and that’s probably keeping Lyon out of the side. You need to get wickets in those middle overs from whatever bowler you’re using. Nathan Lyon is a wicket-taker and I think he will probably get more opportunities in the short term.