Warne demands Hauritz recall
Shane Warne is convinced Australia will play a specialist spinner in the Boxing Day Test - but believes they have chosen the wrong man for the job in Michael Beer.
Beer, who has taken 16 first-class wickets at an average of 43 in seven matches, was a shock inclusion in the 12-man squad for the Perth Test - he was omitted from the final XI - and appears likely to play in Melbourne after he was retained in an unchanged squad.
But with the Ashes battle delicately poised at 1-1, former leg-spinner Warne - Australia's leading wicket-taker of all time - has called for the in-form Nathan Hauritz to be rushed back into the side for the Melbourne and Sydney Tests.
"I think Beer was a horses for courses selection (in Perth)," Warne wrote in a blog for the Australian Daily Telegraph.
"What has impressed me about Hauritz, he's gone back and taken wickets and made runs.
"As I said before the Test series, I think Hauritz deserves first chance and if he didn't work out, try the next in line. So I think it still stands that Hauritz deserves a chance for Melbourne and Sydney."
Hauritz, who was controversially dropped at the expense of Xavier Doherty before the first Test in Brisbane, has taken 19 wickets at 26.78 apiece in six domestic first-class appearances for New South Wales this season.
He is also coming off consecutive centuries with the bat, having scored 146 against South Australia and 110 not out against Queensland over the past fortnight.
While he does not agree with their current choice, Warne urged the selectors not to go in without a specialist spinner.
"Historically, (the) Melbourne Test match has always needed a spinner, as you don't always pick a team for the first innings," he explained. "It's hard to change a winning team but I think a spinner will play.
"The only reason a spinner won't play is if Australia want to go with five seamers, including [Shane] Watson, and bowl lots of chin music at our beloved, friendly Poms.
"Remember we have Watson to bowl quick as well when conditions suit, so if we play four quicks and Watson we have five seamers."
Warne also played down suggestions that the MCG curator has been instructed to spice up the wicket in a bid to replicate the surface at the WACA.
"It's a drop-in wicket so there's not much you can do to the wicket," he said. "It will be flat and hard work for the bowlers after the new ball has lost its hardness after that 30-35 over mark.
"It's warm in Melbourne and staying like this for the next week so there might be a bit more grass on it at the start, but I don't think it's a conspiracy theory."