The Ashes 2010-11 December 8, 2010

Shane Warne flattered by comeback talk

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Warne has said he is "flattered" at all the talk of a possible comeback to help Australia's struggling bowling attack and stopped short of completely ruling out a return even though it would be a huge admission of the team's current failings.

Warne has arrived in London on a promotional trip for his new chat show and was greeted at Heathrow Airport by photographers and reporters who were only interested in one topic. "Just landed in London it's freezing and was welcomed by press and photographers asking am I making a comeback? What have I missed ?," he posted on his Twitter feed.

Earlier, his Daily Telegraph column made a brief mention of the debate in Australia, which has led the creation of a fund and a website - - that is aiming to raise enough money to bring Warne out of retirement. "We offer the Rescue Fund to the King of Spin," the website says, "pleading with him once again to don the baggy green and attempt us to win back the Ashes."

"There has been a bit written in Australia and people have been asking me about making a comeback," Warne wrote in the newspaper. "All I can say is that it is very flattering to hear those words."

However, he preferred to look at what options Australia could take among their current players. It is almost certain that Xavier Doherty won't be retained after taking three wickets in his first two Tests and being punished by the England batsmen.

"Do they opt for Nathan Hauritz or a wrist-spinner like Steve Smith?", Warne wrote. "Do they play two spinners or none at all and prepare a green, grassy wicket in Perth? That would be a big gamble against England's seam attack.

"The pitch is not fast and bouncy these days, so maybe you get a local guy who knows the Perth conditions, like left-arm spinner Michael Beer. Sometimes horses for courses works. Australia have to explore all options and win this next match to get back into the series. They need to look at all avenues and go all out for a win."

Beer, 26, has taken 16 first-class wickets in five matches at 39.93. He played against England in their opening tour match at Perth and claimed 5 for 207 but conceded runs at five per over.

Hauritz is favoured for a recall, and hit a hundred as nightwatchman for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield match against South Australia having gone wicketless in his first innings. However, in his previous Shield match, against Western Australia at the WACA, he took a five-wicket haul.

"Whenever you're dropped you are always looking to perform well," Hauritz said. "I've been lucky enough to take some wickets and score some runs but the job's only halfway done. I was dropped for not doing my role in the side. I've got to go back to first-class cricket and prove I can do that and restore the faith in the selectors and the captain. If you're taking wickets, scoring runs and playing the role they want you're put in their faces."

Meanwhile, back in Melbourne, England's wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, admitted he was bemused by the rumours. "I've absolutely no idea what's going on," he said. "I don't read the press, I don't hear anything, I don't listen to any of it. If he's going to come back, great. If he's not, who knows? Whoever comes into their team we'll have to look at, process, work out how we're going to play against them like any other player, whether it be Shane Warne, Merv Hughes or anyone else. We'd look at them, the video footage and respect them like any other cricketers, so that's what we're going to do."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pranav on December 15, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    Australians mock how Indians keep raving about Sachin. What about them raving about Bradma ? or Warne, like in this case ? Get over it, move on. Warne has long since retired. He was gr8, but now find a good spinner or perish, but he aint coming back.

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Only one thing Wat Aussies can do is just hand over the ashes to the blistering English men.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    If Punter perform well the whole batting department win the match. And one more thing throw out chappel it will also help not to win but for perform well in future.

  • Lalith on December 12, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    I just started practicing spin bowling: slow left arm, right arm googly and under arm straight. I also got secret weapon rather a new invented ball (not the carrom ball, doosra or slinger). I got a club match in 2 days and trying to get into NSW against QLD sheffield match starting on 18th. I hope I can play in the 5th TEST in Sydney because I live in Sydney and very much familiar with SCG pitch. I pray Mr Hildrith. I am not BEER, WHISKEY, RUM, or VODKA.

  • Pranav on December 12, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    i don't think warne's comeback is the answer australia is looking for......i suggest they pick nathan hauritz as he is very effective in home conditions considering he did very well last year against pakistan and west indies.and also make some changes in the pace attack.....give dirk nannes a chance!i don't know why his name is not even considered!he has the perfect line and length and a terrific pace to match with it!

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Well it is just stupidity from australians....they have to look wat they have now and bringing back warne will not affect them......

  • Dummy4 on December 11, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    if Ponting breaks his lull, anything can happen. Maybe a triple may send the message.

  • amit on December 11, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    No way.......Bowling takes toll of your body ...... Warne cant be remotetly as lethal as he used to be he should not even consider coming back ...... If he gets beating then these patriotic OZ will only bash him .........moreover whole of the Team is Weak its just not spin department Warne cant win whole match on his own........and with Rajasthan Royals though he captained superbly but he dint really bowl well so how can we fancy that he will be bowling well

  • Nishad on December 11, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Why are these Aussies performing like underdogs? They were the world champions for quite some time! The answer is: GREG CHAPPELL. He has got a wonderful effect that he can break a quality team apart. Look what he did for India... India had a good team and was threatening to don the no. 1 spot under the captaincy of dada and when he cameback dada had to take all the flak and was ousted. Sehwag was dropped, Irfan pathan India's then strike bowler became history. Middle order batsmen like Kaif and Raina was asked to open the batting. Kaif who was successfully enjoying his no. 7 spot and his electric fielding was considered dump and was finally ousted too. End Result: India looked out of sorts. What happened after that, he was thrown away and India today is the No.1 side in the world. The Aussies too have to throw this guy Chappell away and you will see the difference in their performance. JUST THROW OUT CHAPPELL IT WILL MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFRENCE.

  • rob on December 11, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    Aus are unlikely to win 2 of the nxt 3 tests, the selectors are unable to settle on a team. over the last two tests the only consistently good batsmen have been watson, katich, hussey and haddin, the other either inconsistent or consistently bad. there is no specific bowling attack johnson did nothing in the 1st test, doherty achieved little similarly with hilfenhaus and siddle in the 2nd test. The phil hughes is a liability. pontings too old. clarkes off form. Hodge should be in the side as the teams no. 3 batsmen. Talk of bringing players out of retirement shows how desperate aus are and is out of spirit of the ashes. in conclusion this collapse of the aus team is due to all their top class players - hayden, langer, mcgrath, lee, gilchrist, martyn, warne, gillespie - all retiring at once symonds is also missed

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