London, Dec 8 (IANS) Shane Warne has laughed off suggestions of donning the baggy green cap again to rescue Australia from their Ashes nightmare and called on the selectors to go for West Australian left-arm spinner Michael Beer for the crucial third Ashes Test in Perth.
A former Victorian, 26-year-old Beer has bowled decently in his five first-class matches for the Warriors, returning 16 wickets at 39.93. He took five of those across two innings in the tour match against the Englishmen at the WACA ground in November. His bowling has not gone unnoticed at a higher level.
"There has been a bit written in Australia and people have been asking me about making a comeback."
"I'm flattered that people want me to return in the Ashes for Australia, but I'd go for Michael Beer," Warne wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph, saying that Australian selectors will have to think in terms of picking "horses for courses."
Warne said that Beer's knowledge of local conditions will come handy.
"Sometimes horses for courses works. Australia have to explore all options and win this next match to get back in this series."
Warne described left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty as a "Ricky Ponting selection", and said that in the absence of a standout option, Beer's experience at the WACA would be valuable.
"Spin-bowling options are difficult. Xavier Doherty has not had an ideal situation to come in and play two Test matches."
"He (Doherty) has been behind the eight ball every time so it is very hard if they say, 'sorry, you are out mate'. He was obviously a Ricky Ponting selection. He wanted him in, but given the situation of the series, Australia may need to go with an experienced player."
"We are now back to what I said before the series started. Where do they go? Do they opt for Nathan Hauritz or a wrist-spinner like Steve Smith? Do they play two spinners or none at all and prepare a green, grassy wicket in Perth?" Warne wrote.
"That would be a big gamble against England's seam attack. The pitch is not fast and bouncy these days, so maybe you get a local guy who knows the Perth conditions, like left-arm spinner Michael Beer."
Looking ahead to the distinct possibility of a lost series, Warne forecast the necessity of considerable change.
"If Australia lose this series badly, then that is the time to reassess everything and say 'right, it is back to the drawing board'."
"That is still a while away and would only happen if they get a real thumping by England."