‘I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in winning’: Australia captain Tim Paine opens door for banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner to return to Test side
- Australia have played their final Test match before this summer’s Ashes
- Steve Smith and David Warner will be available after the end of their bans
- Captain Tim Paine is happy to welcome the pair back into the side
Tim Paine has dropped the biggest hint yet that Australia will welcome back disgraced duo Steve Smith and David Warner for the Ashes this summer.
Australia have played their final Test before facing England in August, beating Sri Lanka by 366 runs to secure their first series win in over a year.
And Paine, who stepped into the role of captain in the wake of last year’s ball-tampering scandal, wants them back in the side.
Tim Paine has spoken after Australia won their final Test match before the Ashes this summer
Paine is happy to welcome back banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner in England
‘I think everyone to a degree has to earn their stripes. I think those two have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like,’ Paine said when asked if they could slot straight back in.
‘Look, I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us winning the series. That’s how I see how important they are to this team.
‘We know how good they are and hopefully once their bans are up they’ll be welcomed back and they will win Test matches like they did before.’
Smith broke down in tears after he was stripped of the captaincy and handed a 12-month ban
Warner also received a ban for his role in ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town last March
Smith and Warner’s 12-month bans for the sorry episode in Cape Town, where they deliberately tried to alter the ball, expire next month and they look set to return in the wake of Australia’s batting struggles.
They were well beaten by India before emphatically winning the two-match series against Sri Lanka.
Joe Burns, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson and Usman Khawaja all passed three figures in Canberra, becoming the first Aussie batsmen to hit centuries this season.
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