Banned Australian cricketers Steve Smith (Left) and David Warner (Right) (File Photo)
Banned Australian cricketers Steve Smith (Left) and David Warner (Right) (File Photo)

Tim Paine sees Smith and Warner playing ‘huge part’ in Ashes glory

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2019 18:04 IST

Melbourne [Australia],Feb 4 (ANI): Australian skipper Tim Paine believes that banned cricketer Steve Smith and David Warner would play a “huge part” in winning the Ashes series which will be held in August.
Paine said that Smith and Warner, whose 12-month suspension will come to an end on March 28, have got a plenty of run in their kitty and hoped that the duo would be welcomed back after the ban.
“Those two (Smith and Warner) have got plenty of runs in the bank, if you like, and I see them going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us wining the series. That's how important they are to this team, as I see,” quoted Paine, as saying.
“We know how good they are, and hopefully once their bans are up they will be welcomed back and they'll win Test matches like they did before,” he added.
The wicket-keeper batsman is glad that the two-match Test series against Sri lanka, which they won 2-0, is “out of the way” as now they can completely focus on the upcoming Ashes series.
Paine said the he has been dreaming about the Ashes since past six months is all set to put his “everything into it”.
“I started thinking about the Ashes series) about six months ago. I've been dreaming about it actually. So I'm happy now that we've got this (Sri lanka Test series) out of the way, and we can put everything into it because every Australian cricketer can't wait to play an Ashes series, and particularly in England,” Paine said.
“It's something that I've certainly dreamed of as a kid. I didn’t think that I'd be going over as the captain but in the back of my mind I've been thinking about it. I've been watching England, keeping a really close eye on them (and) I can't wait to get over there,” he added.
When asked about the Australian team combination for the Ashes series, Paine said that he has just got a fair idea about the same.
“I haven't written any (names) down, but I've got a fair idea what it might look like. But I'm not a selector, so I get asked for my input but I think they (the three-man selection panel) would have a pretty good picture of what it would look like,” Paine said.
“What we've seen over this summer is that we've now started to build a squad with plenty of depth. So there's probably anywhere between 16 and 20 players now that we think are in the mix, which is a really good place to be. I think everyone has to earn their stripes, to a degree,” he added.
The 2019 Ashes series is scheduled to be held from August 1 to September 16 in England. (ANI)