Shane Warne believes that the return of David Warner and Steve Smith will give Australia a great chance to win the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
The legendary leg spinner said that Smith and Warner would benefit from their 12-month bans – it would “refresh your mind, you’ll be hungry again,” he said.
Warne speaks from his own experience when he himself once received a 12-month ban after he tested positive for a banned diuretic.
Warne said, however, that ultimately had little impact on his career as a player. In fact, it has improved him. “Sometimes I had a compulsory break, as I was used to, I had 12 months time – which means you’re getting really fresh,” Warne told Fox Cricket. “You refresh your thoughts, you become hungry again and realize how important cricket is for you.”
He expects something similar for Warne and Smith. The duo’s bans will expire on March 29th and are available for selection. They are expected to return directly to the Australian XI, but whether they can walk on the ground is a question that will only answer the clock.
Warner is expected to participate in Australia’s trip to the United Arab Emirates for a one-day international series of five games against Pakistan. However, Smith recovers from an elbow injury and it remains to be seen when he will return.
When they make their comeback, Warne said they have “a point to prove.” That’s why he also gives Australia tips to win the World Cup.
“Look at their records, Absolute class, just about every other player,” Warne said. “They’ll go back in, they’ll be hungry, they’ll be a bit nervous in the first few games, but that’s good for them, they’ll be excited, and I’d expect them to play as good as ever.
“I believe Australia can win the World Cup.”
He also thinks England and India are favorites and tended to surprise New Zealand with some people. “[New Zealand] is always good at big ICC events and World Championships,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “They are always there or in the vicinity, so write them off at your own risk, but I think England and India are the two favorites.
“At the time of the World Cup, everyone will know their best team, everyone has games before the game, he’s experimenting with different stroke sequences – each team will do the same – bowlers in different positions and all sorts of stuff just to try and find their best.
“But New Zealand will be fine, they have enough players to find the right balance in their team, they’re just a little under the wheels, everyone talks about other teams, but New Zealand is always good.”
The World Cup starts on May 30th. England compete in the oval against South Africa.