'The transition is easier than in the past' December 22, 2006

Buchanan confident Australia will cope without Warne


Shane Warne and John Buchanan have only two more Tests together © Getty Images

John Buchanan believes Shane Warne's Test retirement will leave a huge void in his side, but he insists plans are in place to cope with a changing of the guard. Glenn McGrath is also tipped to be the next Australian to retire, and Buchanan said it was only a matter of time before Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist stepped down.

Buchanan said Australia had the infrastructure in place to handle the strain of a mass exodus, unlike the 1980s when Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell and Rod Marsh's departure crippled the national side. "One of the significant differences that has occurred is that there are things like the Centre of Excellence program, Australia A, and we have seen the emergence of young talent," he said. "The transition from moving the older, great players out [for] newer, younger players should be a bit easier than in the past.

Damien Martyn and Warne have started the team change by deciding to walk away. "[Retirements] will occur, whether that be within two, three, six or 12 months, but it heralds an exciting time in Australian cricket," Buchanan said.

Buchanan, who will depart in April after the World Cup, hinted that Warne's departure may force Australia to rethink the positive, attacking game plans that have allowed it to dominate world cricket in recent decades. "Certainly from a selection point of view and looking into the future that will now be a huge void that will take maybe generations to fill," he said. "When you lose one of your great players it does mean you have to re-think and re-look at your team, its balance and the way you want to play your game."