Spin legend Shane Warne has been asked to ‘shut up’ by former Australia international Chadd Sayers for his criticism of Mitchell Starc and Usman Khawaja. Warne was of the opinion that Australia should not have gone for Starc for the Ashes opener at The Gabba and included allrounder Mitchell Marsh instead of Khawaja for the ongoing 4th Test.
Starc is the leading wicket-taker of the Ashes 2021-22 having pocketed 14 so far at an average of 19.64 while Khawaja marked his return to Test cricket after two years with a sublime century in Sydney today.
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Taking to Twitter, Sayers, who played on Test for Australia in 2018, wrote, “Shane Warne keeps bagging his own Aussie players,” Sayers wrote. “Went hard at Starc – Wrong and now Uzzie – wrong #shutup”
Warne had said that Starc is out of form and rhythm citing his show at the 2021 T20 World Cup and backed Jhye Richardson instead.
“He needs to find a bit of rhythm and some form,” Warne had said of Starc. “He had a really poor [T20] World Cup. He’s just not bowling well enough. It’s too important at the Gabba. So I’m all for Jhye Richardson.”
Travis Head had been tested positive for coronavirus and hence was ruled out of Sydney Test. In his place, Khawaja made the eleven but Warne wanted preferred Marsh who ‘Is in the form of his life’.
“Australia has been waiting a long time for Mitchell Marsh to come good and right at the moment he’s in the form of his life,” Warne said. “For me, I just think as a bowler who would I rather bowl to, Khawaja or Mitchell Marsh? I’d much rather bowl to Khawaja.”
Meanwhile, former England fast bowler Steven Finn praised Khawaja who made 137 off 260 in Australia’s first innings as they declared on 416/8.
“It has been a phenomenal innings,” he said on BBC Test Match Special. “He showed patience to get his innings going and then how good against spin he is since. He was under pressure coming into the side after two and a half years out. He has given the Australian selectors even more headaches.”
In reply, England were 13/0 at stumps.
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