With Australia on the verge of a heavy defeat in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, legendary spinner Shane Warne has said that the national team boasts the weakest batting line-up he has ever come across.
Warne also went on to say that the Aussies are in desperate need of Smith, Warner and Bancroft – the trio who are currently serving their bans for being involved in the ball-tampering plot against South Africa at Newlands in March.
"We need them," Warne told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I think Australia's batting at the moment is the worst I have seen it.
Warne also urged the Australian selectors to stick with Aaron Finch, who 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.
"I hope they stick with Aaron Finch and he continues to makes some runs, he's someone that could captain the side," Warne opined.
Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner for their roles in the disgraceful ball-tampering scandal. Besides, rookie opener Cameron Bancroft, who exploited sandpaper in a bid to alter the conditions of the ball, was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-month.
As Smith and Warner bowed out, Tim Paine was named the Test and ODI captain for a brief period. Paine led the team in the last day of the Cape Town Test and also in the fourth Test at Wanderers. Subsequently, Australia suffered a whitewash in a five-match ODI series against England and also lost the final of the tri-series against Pakistan in Zimbabwe.
When asked if the Australian cricket community would accept the tainted trio in the national team, Warne said: "It takes time and they are going to need to earn the respect of the cricket community from around the world."
"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," he concluded.