Smith and Warner tipped for Aussie return
Australia Test captain Tim Paine has tipped Steve Smith and David Warner to quickly return to the international fold.
The duo are currently banned from the Australia set-up following their involvement in last year's much publicized ball-tampering scandal, but those suspensions are due to expire late next month.
The Baggy Greens have struggled in the absence of the disgraced duo, although they did bring what has been a torrid 12 months to an end by winning their most recent series against Sri Lanka 2-0.
That will give Australia hope heading into the rest of 2019, which includes their away Ashes series against England.
Australia have not won an Ashes series on English soil since 2001, but Paine feels, with the help of Smith and Warner, they can end that wait this year.
"I think everyone to a degree has to earn their stripes. I think those two have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like," Paine said when asked if Smith and Warner will make a swift return to the Australia team.
"Look, I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us winning the series. That's how I see how important they are to this team.
"We know how good they are and hopefully once their bans are up they'll be welcomed back and they will win Test matches like they did before."
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.