'Mr Fix-it': Shane Warne's huge backflip after Steve Smith swipe

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Pictured right, Shane Warne alongside a photo of Aussie batter Steve Smith.
Shane Warne has revised his controversial take about Steve Smith's place in Australia's T20 World Cup side. Pic: Getty

Shane Warne has performed a stunning backflip on Steve Smith after previously questioning the batter's place in Australia's Twenty20 side at the World Cup.

The 'Spin King' hit out at Smith's inclusion in the Aussie side after their chastening eight-wicket defeat against England in the group stages of the T20 World Cup.

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The loss was statistically one of the worst Australia had suffered in T20 cricket, prompting Warne to suggest selectors should have considered replacing former Test captain Steve Smith with Mitch Marsh.

Warne also took exception to Australia's use of the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell.

"Disappointing selection from Australia leaving Marsh out and Maxwell batting in the power play (he should always come in after power play)," Warne wrote on Twitter.

"(Marcus) Stoinis should have gone in. Poor strategy and tactics from the Aussies.

"I love Smith but he shouldn't be in the T20 team. Marsh has to be."

Shane Warne is seen on the left alongside former Aussie cricket captain Steve Smith.
Shane Warne was previously critical of Steve Smith's place in the Aussie T20 World Cup side . Image: Getty

Smith's career strike-rate remains above Marsh's, and he can play the anchor role when moved up to No.3 rather than need to be a power hitter.

Warne has since changed his tune about Smith's place in the Aussie side, ahead of their semi-final clash against the undefeated Pakistan on Friday morning (AEDT).

The legendary spinner says he's even seen enough evidence from Australia's other matches to claim Aaron Finch's men can leave with the World Cup crown.

“Now that the Aussies have their batting order right and (are) finding form, they can win the World Cup,” Warne tweeted on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t have had Smith in my starting X1. But his role as Mr Fix-it is spot on.”

While Warne's latest remark is a far cry from his previous statement, the Test great said he did think Smith's position in the batting order should be more flexible.

“Lose early wickets he goes in and if they don’t he slides down and the beasts (Marsh, Stoinis, Maxwell) go in.”

Australia's hopes in Friday's semi-final against Pakistan could come down to which side wins the toss, with sides batting second winning nine of the 10 games at Dubai's International Stadium.

Included in those losses is Australia's heavy defeat to England, where they fell in a heap early and never recovered as they posted 125.

However, Maxwell does have experience setting a total and winning in Dubai, where matches have been low-scoring and dew is a big issue for bowling teams trying to contain batters late at night.

Glenn Maxwell urges Aussies to 'play with freedom'

He was man of the match in Royal Challengers Bangalore's only game batting first at the ground in the recent IPL, hitting 56 from 37 in their win over Mumbai.

It also marked the last win for teams batting first at the ground in the rest of the regular season of the IPL, as the next seven chasing teams were triumphant.

And with Australia playing seven specialist bats, Maxwell claims their only option is to go hard early and play with intent throughout rather than trying to set up for a big finish.

"I've seen it done a few different ways. I think for us, it's just to play with freedom," Maxwell said.

"We got to back the fact that we've got a really strong top order. We're playing the extra batter.

"We've got a fair bit of batting there and to know that we've probably barely used our No.5, 6 and 7 throughout the tournament.

"I've seen teams go the other way and try and hold wickets back to make sure they get to go at the back end.

"But for us it's probably that playing with freedom at the start and really trying to make the most of the powerplay and put the opposition on the backfoot."

with AAP

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