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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Warne believes England’s Parkinson ‘perfectly suited’ for Ashes trip

LONDON (AFP) – Shane Warne has backed uncapped England leg-spinner Matt Parkinson to make an impact on the upcoming Ashes tour as he is “perfectly suited” to Australian conditions.

Parkinson, 24, starred during England s recent one-day series win over Pakistan after a Covid-19 outbreak ruled out the originally selected squad and the Lancashire bowler caught the eye of Australia great Warne, arguably the best leg-spinner cricket has known.

Warne, in England to coach the London Spirit men s team in the inaugural edition of English cricket s new Hundred competition, believes the pitch at Brisbane s Gabba ground — where he took a career-best 8-71 against England in 1994 — will particularly favour Parkinson.

“I think Parkinson is very, very good,” said Warne.

“I really like the look of the way he bowls and he is a great addition to the white-ball cricket, but also I see him playing a huge part in Test cricket, especially in Australia.

“I wouldn t be surprised in that first Test match at the Gabba if he is pencilled in the XI. I think of the Australian conditions, the pace he bowls, the amount of bounce and spin he gets, I think he is perfectly suited to Australian conditions.”

Parkinson averages under 24 with the ball in first-class cricket and Warne added: “I wouldn t be surprised if they (England) have a look at him during the India series thinking about the Ashes down the track.”

Warne will get a chance to see Parkinson in action during the Hundred, with the Lancashire bowler representing Manchester Originals.

Meanwhile, he is expecting some Ashes banter from England batsmen Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence, both of whom are in the Spirit squad.

They will be available for the team s opening two matches of the new 100 balls per side tournament before joining up with England ahead of the first Test of a five-match series against India at Trent Bridge starting on August 4.

“When we win the first game and we have a quiet beer afterwards, we might have to start a bit of an Ashes chat,” said Warne.

Crawley has struggled for Test runs since his stunning 267 against Pakistan at Southampton last year.

But Warne urged England to keep faith with the Kent batsman.

“Zak Crawley is one of the most impressive young players I have seen for a long time. He has a fantastic technique, both spin and pace he plays well, he has all the shots.

“Now it is about him thinking his way through certain situations and thinking better about the game, having that more experience.

“I hope England stick with Zak Crawley because he is as good a young player as I have seen.”.

Meanwhile Warne believes he has found a kindred spirit in England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, another member of the Spirit squad.

“He is such an impressive guy, Morgs,” said the 51-year-old.

“He has the ability to get the best out of his players and the ability to inspire people too.

“Hopefully, we make a pretty good combination and team together.”

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