Aussie legends hit back at Shane Warne after 'horrible' call

Ryan Harris, Brett Lee and Shane Warne, pictured here speaking to the media.
Ryan Harris and Brett Lee have disagreed with Shane Warne about Mitchell Starc. Image: Getty

Brett Lee has backed Mitchell Starc to have an 'incredible' Ashes series after criticism from Shane Warne about his 'horrible' form.

On Thursday, Warne doubled down on his call for Starc to be left out of the first Ashes Test, saying selectors should go with Jhye Richardson instead.

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“He (Starc) needs to find a bit of rhythm and some form,” Warne said earlier this week.

“He had a really poor World Cup. He’s just not bowling well enough.

“It’s too important at the Gabba. I’m all for Jhye Richardson.”

Starc only managed 11 wickets in last summer’s four-Test series against India at an average of 40.72.

The left-armer has endured an underwhelming 12 months in the national side, taking nine wickets at 27.55 at the recent T20 World Cup.

Starc conceded 60 runs in four overs in the final against New Zealand, continuing a trend for the paceman of leaking too many runs.

However former Test star Lee is backing the 31-year-old to shine against England.

“A lot of people are calling for (Starc’s) head on the chopping block,” Lee told SEN on Thursday.

Mitchell Starc, pictured here in action for Australia at the T20 World Cup.
Mitchell Starc in action for Australia at the T20 World Cup. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’m not going down that road.

“I’m going to say Mitchell Starc can produce an incredible Ashes series if he can get the ball to swing back at 150km/h, which he’s very, very capable of.

“If I’m wrong and he doesn’t perform in the first couple of Tests, well fair enough (for him to be dropped). I just back Mitchell Starc.”

However Warne said Starc's recent form hasn't shown that he's capable of backing up Lee's claims.

“I agree with Brett if Starc was bowling fast and swinging the ball he’s a match winner,” Warne tweeted.

“But he’s bowling mid 130’s & not swinging it. He averaged 70 per wicket last summer to the top 6.

“Plus his recent WC form was horrible. He went for 60 runs in 4 overs. Richardson must play.”

Ryan Harris critical of Shane Warne's public comments

But fellow former Test star Ryan Harris reckons Starc can deliver.

“I don’t know what ‘Starcy’ (Starc) has done to ‘Warnie’ (Warne), I’m backing him in,” Harris told SEN.

“I thought he bowled okay at the World Cup, he did what he needed to do, he did his job.

“But the thing for me is if Mitchell Starc is swinging the ball, albeit a white one, it’s a good sign, and he did that in just about every game in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“I’m keeping him in … he adds a bit of variation as well.

“Don’t get me wrong, Jhye Richardson is bowling very well. We had a game against Queensland two weeks ago and the boys said he bowled very quick and swung the ball nicely.

“He’s in good form as well, but I like Mitchell Starc for that variation of the left arm.”

Harris said he believes Warne needs to speak to Starc privately instead of repeatedly calling him out in the media.

“But again, I don’t know what he’s done to ‘Warnie’, I’m a bit disappointed in that (Warne’s criticism),” Harris said.

“I’m not a big fan of coming out and saying in the media, I hope that ‘Warnie’ had a phone call to Starc and explained what he’s talking about.”

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