Quiney should replace Ponting, says Warne
SHANE WARNE has emphatically declared the next batsman to come into Australia's Test team should be its most recent discard, Rob Quiney.
Quiney's miserable stint at number three earlier in the South Africa series, which yielded nine runs in three innings and included a pair of ducks in Adelaide, has not shaken Warne's belief the 30-year-old is the most worthy successor to the retired Ricky Ponting.
"When you identify a player who's been the best player in domestic cricket for a period of time and you give him a chance . . . [with him] getting nought you can't really tell [his suitability] because anyone can get nought. The ones that get 12 and 15 are the ones you worry about. They get themselves in then play a bad shot to get out. For me, anyone can get out early, when they first come in," Warne said on Monday at Fox Sports' Big Bash League launch.
"I don't think he's had a really good run at it. I think three Tests against Sri Lanka would be a good opportunity to have a really good run at it, and then see how he goes after those three Tests. If you need to make a change after that so be it."
Warne said national selectors must contemplate which batsman they considered most capable of not only succeeding against Sri Lanka but also of doing so on subsequent Test tours to India and England next year. He advocated retaining Australia's remaining five batsmen in the top six, with Shane Watson replacing Ponting at number four and left-hander Quiney, the reigning domestic player of the year, replacing Watson at three.
"You've got to start looking ahead and say 'These guys we bring in, who's going to play well in India? Who's going to play well in England against the swinging and seaming ball?' – and Bobby Quiney has got the best technique out of any of the candidates, bar none," he said.
"Other guys like Khawaja and Phillip Hughes . . . have to earn their stripes a bit more. They have to go back to Shield cricket and show us how keen they are. Go back and make a hundred – and keep making hundreds. Khawaja has had a couple of chances. Phil Hughes has had three or four . . . he's meant to have changed his technique a bit and seems to be getting runs, but Bobby has had one chance really."
Warne's ties to Quiney are obvious, as both are not only Victorian but also share club (St Kilda) and BBL (Melbourne Stars) teams. Nevertheless, Warne's endorsement of Quiney has come despite the fact a call-up would severely hamper the Champions League qualification ambitions of the team he captains in the BBL, the Stars, as it would require him to find a new opening partner for Luke Wright for the first month of the tournament.