Shane Warne's brutal snub for Steve Smith ahead of T20 World Cup

Shane Warne and Steve Smith, pictured here ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Shane Warne doesn't think Steve Smith is in Australia's best XI. Image: Getty

Shane Warne has left Steve Smith out of his preferred Aussie XI for the T20 World Cup.

The King of Spin took to Twitter on Monday night with his opinion on Australia's best XI for the limited overs tournament, which got underway this week.

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However one glaring omission was former captain Smith.

Warne had Aaron Finch and David Warner opening the batting, with Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis in the middle-order.

Warne also had Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa in the bowling attack, with two of Dan Christian, Ashton Agar, Nathan Ellis, Kane Richardson and Josh Hazlewood rounding out the XI.

Fans were quick to point out Warne's snub of Smith, with one commenting: "If you have the best batsman in the world, who also averages 28 @ 130SR in T20I, you play him. There’s no if’s or but’s about it."

Another wrote: "If you’re referring to Steve Smith batting at 3 he averages 39.5 with a strike rate of 140.

"Which happens to be the 4th best of all time. Only Kohli, Azam and Malan are ahead of him."

David Warner's poor for continues in warm-up match

Meanwhile, Warner's form slump continued on Tuesday but Australia held on to clinch a three-wicket win over New Zealand in their opening warm-up clash at Abu Dhabi.

The opener was caught behind off the first ball of the innings in an ominous start to Australia's run chase after New Zealand posted a competitive 7-158.

Australia looked in trouble after losing 3-1 - including the prized scalps of Smith (35) and Stoinis (28) - to slump to 6-115 in the 16th over.

But after Agar (23) was dismissed with Australia needing eight runs to win off three balls, Inglis coolly stepped up to thrash Kyle Jamieson for consecutive fours and ice a morale-boosting win with a delivery to spare.

There will still be concern for Warner ahead of Australia's opening World Cup clash with South Africa on Saturday night (AEDT).

Steve Smith, pictured here in action for Australia in their World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand.
Steve Smith in action for Australia in their World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images) (2021 ICC)

He has had little time in the middle since being dumped as captain of Indian Premier League outfit Sunrisers Hyderabad and then left out of the team completely after two failures when the tournament resumed last month.

He lasted just one ball on Tuesday morning (AEDT), sensationally caught in the slips by a diving Martin Guptill off Tim Southee.

Captain Finch hit 24 off 19 while Mitch Marsh thrashed 24 off 15 to lead a recovery before Smith and Stoinis shared a 48-run fourth wicket stand.

Mitchell Santner (3-22) took two wickets in an over, combining with Trent Boult (2-13) to spark Australia's mini-collapse before Agar and Starc (13 not out) hit back, ensuring they needed 13 to win off the final over.

Australia claimed a rare T20 victory without using Maxwell, Cummins, Hazlewood or Mitch Swepson.

Australia - who play another warm-up against India on Wednesday (AEDT) - have fallen from top spot to seventh in the T20 rankings with just six wins from their past 21 games.

with AAP

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