Warne gives MacGill the nod
Shane Warne has thrown his weight behind Stuart MacGill to take over the spin position in Australia's Test team. MacGill's match figures of 4 for 280 in a Pura Cup game at the SCG this week should not stop him earning a Test recall, according to Warne.
"He deserves his chance and hopefully he grabs it,'' Warne told the Daily Telegraph. "He may not have bowled that well for New South Wales against Queensland this week but he is one of those guys that will raise his level in a Test."
The first Test against Sri Lanka starts next Thursday at the Gabba, which was Warne's favourite Test ground in terms of wickets and average. MacGill has also had success there with 11 wickets at 26.45 and Warne believes MacGill would enjoy another opportunity in Brisbane.
"It's a great place to bowl spin because of the pace of the wicket," Warne said. "Once you commit to a shot you can't adjust and that's great for the spinners. Bounce is just so important. At the Gabba, even day one is sometimes the best day to bowl on. MacGill will enjoy that."
However, Warne believes MacGill has little room for error if selected, thanks to Brad Hogg's outstanding form in India and in his Pura Cup return. "If he doesn't go that well, Hogg is there," Warne said. "I think Brad Hogg is giving him stiff competition."
Warne also wants Australia to unleash a fast-bowling barrage on Sri Lanka by choosing Shaun Tait and Brett Lee alongside Stuart Clark. "I would let the Sri Lankans have it," Warne said. "Their best player of quick bowling was [Tillakaratne] Dilshan and they didn't pick him. Let's bowl short pitch and get nasty with them and intimidate them."
Warne was keen for his fellow Victorian Brad Hodge to earn a place in the middle-order with Michael Hussey moving up to open. Australia's selectors will announce the squad for the first Test on Thursday.