Shane Warne believes in the absence of stalwarts like Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia currently has the weakest batting line-up ever produced by the country and stressed that they have their work cut out against spin during the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan in UAE.
"Australian cricket at the moment is struggling. I think we've got a fantastic bowling unit, I think we've got good reserves, good back-up, but our batting is as weak as I've seen it for a long, long time," Warne was quoted saying to Omnisport, "Especially, with probably two of the top five batsmen in the world, in David Warner and Steve Smith, being banned for 12 months, it weakens our batting even more."
Emphasizing the importance of Smith and Warne to Australia's batting, Warne further said, "Australia revolve around Smith and Warner so much. To not have those guys, it looks like probably [Usman] Khawaja and Shaun Marsh will be our two leading batsmen and carrying the workload of the batters," before making it clear, "I'm not saying they're weak, but they're not Smith and Warner. They haven't really established themselves as gun players. They are still in a way playing for their spot and they are our two leading batsmen."
"For me over all the years I've watched Australian cricket, I think it's probably the weakest batting side we are going to have put together and we're probably only average or if you're trying to be nice to them, a bit above average," he added.
However, Warne wants the current set-up to look at the upcoming challenge as an opportunity to try and still make an impact.
"But, that creates opportunity, if you're a young batsman in Australia at the moment you're never going to get a better opportunity to play Test cricket for Australia," he said and added, "When things aren't at their strongest, that presents an opportunity for everyone and if you're a young player you've got to grab it with both hands when you get your chance, because you're going to get a chance."
"With the revolving door of the Australian cricket team, now you can stamp yourself straight in the side, you can play for a long period of time. With an Ashes around the corner, a World Cup around the corner, so many great things to happen in the next year or so, it's an exciting time to be an Australian batsman," he signed off.
(Inputs from SPORTSTAR Live)