Paine would welcome Warner back in team

Ethan James
Captain Tim Paine says he'd welcome banned Australian batsman David Warner (pic) back into the team

Australia skipper Tim Paine has jumped to the defence of suspended David Warner, refuting reports the firebrand opener has been shunned by the team.

Veteran cricket writer Robert Craddock this week questioned whether the side's cultural rebuild could occur if Warner returned to the team as "half the players" couldn't stand him.

But Test skipper Paine, who this week was named interim one-day international captain for next month's tour of England, said the comments were unfair and he would welcome Warner's back.

"I certainly like Crash Craddock's writing. But I thought he was a little bit off the mark there," Paine said on Thursday in Hobart.

"David is someone who's certainly highly competitive on the field and, sometimes, that can rub people and oppositions up the wrong way.

"Within our team, he's someone with that energy and competitiveness that we love playing with.

"There's a side of David that people don't know. He is very loyal and really caring and a good team man to have around."

Warner, then-captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were suspended after the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Warner was spotted drinking alone at a bar during the saga, with Craddock pointing to a rift between him and other players.

In an interview on Monday with SEN radio, Craddock said players had told Cricket Australia they refused to play with Warner.

"How do you have cultural shift and Warner in the same team?" Craddock said.

But Paine said he'd welcome Warner back.

"David is a respected member of that team. He always has been," Paine said.

"As long as I've been around the team, he's been really well liked and really well received by his teammates.

"All three of those are going to be welcomed back into the team, if they are prepared to toe the line with our new brand of cricket."