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October 16, 2010

Warne offers to lend embattled Hauritz a hand

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October 16, 2010

MELBOURNE: After using his famed digits to publicly criticise captain Ricky Ponting on Twitter during Australia’s Test loss to India on Wednesday, Shane Warne has offered to help embattled spinner Nathan Hauritz to get his groove back.
Warne said Hauritz remained Australia’s top spinner but needed to find form ahead of the Ashes starting next month after Indian batsmen tore him apart on the way to sealing a thumping seven-wicket victory in Bangalore.
“That’s up to Ricky Ponting and (coach) Tim Nielsen, but if they are happy for me to work with Horry (Hauritz) before the Ashes, then I’m more than happy to,” said Warne. “I will make myself available and fit it into my schedule. Murali, Daniel Vettori and myself and a lot of other spinners have been smashed in India at times. That is no disgrace at all. How Horry bounces back in Australia this summer is the key.”
Warne, said that there was no question of rushing leg spinner-in-waiting Steve Smith into the pressure cooker of Ashes cricket.
“In my opinion, Steve Smith is still a long way short of being Australia’s number one Test spinner,” he said.
The retired leg spinning great’s offer may be viewed dimly by Ponting, who earlier dismissed the Twitter critique as ill-informed and said Hauritz had set his own field.
Warne said he and 35-year-old Ponting had exchanged text messages to defuse any tension and backed his captaincy amid calls from former cricketers and media pundits for the gritty Tasmanian to step down and concentrate on his batting.

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