Infotainment Factory: Tubby weighs in on Smith-Warner comeback delay

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

Tubby weighs in on Smith-Warner comeback delay


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Mark Taylor says Australia was right not to pick Steve Smith and David Warner for a rushed ODI comeback against Pakistan in the UAE later this month, despite the proximity of the World Cup.

Australia plays five ODIs against Pakistan from March 22-31, with Smith and Warner eligible to play the final two matches after completing their 12-month suspensions for ball tampering.

Yet Cricket Australia opted against selecting the pair for just part of the series. Speaking on Sports Sunday, Taylor said that he was not surprised.

"Not at all, to be totally honest," he said. "Australia have got one-dayers at the moment in India, they've won overnight, so they're down 2-1 in that series, they've got two more games against India.

"Then they've got five matches against Pakistan, which David and Steven can't play the first three. I don't think it would be right to send them over there ... to then add two players for the last two games when that series could be up fro grabs with two games to go."

Taylor said that two matches in the UAE would make little difference to Smith and Warner's World Cup preparations, despite having little international match practice beforehand. After the Indian Premier League through March-May, Australia will get just two ODIs (against England and Sri Lanka) before opening the World Cup against Afghanistan, on June 1 in Bristol.

"I don't think they'll achieve much by going to Dubai or whatever it is for those two games [against Pakistan]," Taylor said.

"At the end of the day, when David and Steven are available and it they're picked for that World Cup, there'll be a huge kerfuffle, particularly when they get to England. Whether they play two games in Dubai against Pakistan or not, is going to make no difference. I think Australia are going to concentrate on winning that Pakistan series."

Asked if the Pakistan games would allow Smith and Warner to dispose with the hype of their returns in advance of reaching England, Taylor said no, predicting that the English press would go hard at the Australians regardless.

"You know what it's like when you go to England. They don't care what's happened in Dubai or Australia - it will be the English media and they'll be all over us," Taylor said.

"They're going to have to deal with that. The players and obviously the staff around them are going to have to deal with that as soon as Australia get to England."

Mark Taylor says Australia was right not to pick Steve Smith and David Warner for a rushed ODI comeback against Pakistan in the UAE later this month, despite the proximity of the World Cup.

Australia plays five ODIs against Pakistan from March 22-31, with Smith and Warner eligible to play the final two matches after completing their 12-month suspensions for ball tampering.

Yet Cricket Australia opted against selecting the pair for just part of the series. Speaking on Sports Sunday, Taylor said that he was not surprised.

"Not at all, to be totally honest," he said. "Australia have got one-dayers at the moment in India, they've won overnight, so they're down 2-1 in that series, they've got two more games against India.

"Then they've got five matches against Pakistan, which David and Steven can't play the first three. I don't think it would be right to send them over there ... to then add two players for the last two games when that series could be up fro grabs with two games to go."

Taylor said that two matches in the UAE would make little difference to Smith and Warner's World Cup preparations, despite having little international match practice beforehand. After the Indian Premier League through March-May, Australia will get just two ODIs (against England and Sri Lanka) before opening the World Cup against Afghanistan, on June 1 in Bristol.

"I don't think they'll achieve much by going to Dubai or whatever it is for those two games [against Pakistan]," Taylor said.

"At the end of the day, when David and Steven are available and it they're picked for that World Cup, there'll be a huge kerfuffle, particularly when they get to England. Whether they play two games in Dubai against Pakistan or not, is going to make no difference. I think Australia are going to concentrate on winning that Pakistan series."

Asked if the Pakistan games would allow Smith and Warner to dispose with the hype of their returns in advance of reaching England, Taylor said no, predicting that the English press would go hard at the Australians regardless.

"You know what it's like when you go to England. They don't care what's happened in Dubai or Australia - it will be the English media and they'll be all over us," Taylor said.

"They're going to have to deal with that. The players and obviously the staff around them are going to have to deal with that as soon as Australia get to England."

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