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Warne blasts Australian selectors over WT20 exit

Cricket

Australia lost the World Twenty20 at the selection table, according to Shane Warne.

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The leg-spinning great has criticised coach Darren Lehmann and on-duty selector Mark Waugh for leaving Aaron Finch and John Hastings out of their XI at various points during the tournament.

“Our selection was wrong… we messed around with it too much rather than sticking with what’s been a proven formula,” Warne told cricket.com.au.

“Because we had so much talent in our team and so much skill, they [selectors] thought ‘it doesn’t matter what the combinations are, we’re still going to do OK’.”

Shane Warne poses with teammate and former captain Ricky Ponting (right) and, below, feigns disbelief as he draws another Aussie name, watched by opponent Sachin Tendulkar.

Shane Warne continues to offer his thoughts on national selection.

It isn’t the first time Warne has lamented Lehmann’s work, with the player turned pundit having also questioned his selections at last year’s Ashes.

“Shane Warne always has his opinion because he loves an opinion full stop,” Lehmann said at the time.

“That’s fine but he doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes.”

Australia were eliminated from the World T20 after an epic innings from Virat Kohli that delivered India a final-over win at Mohali.

Finch, the best T20 batsman in the world according to the International Cricket Council’s rankings, played pool fixtures against Pakistan and India.

But the former captain was left out of the team for matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, with selectors instead preferring Shane Watson and Usman Khawaja at the top of the order.

Finch had opened the batting with Warner in 12 T20s and 24 ODIs, including last year’s World Cup triumph on home soil.

Warne couldn’t understand the logic of breaking up their big-hitting partnership.

“It upset the balance of the team,” he said.

“Those two guys had been batting together for a long time. They have done well in Twenty20, they’ve done well in one-day cricket.

“Suddenly they got spilt up.

“That Finch-Warner partnership, it’s an intimidatory factor before a ball was bowled and people would have worried about Finch and Warner.”

Warne added that it’s not to say sides didn’t worry about Khawaja, who was Australia’s leading run-scorer at the tournament.

“But I just think the other two are more destructive,” he said.

“I know Khawaja was in unbelievable form and had to play but I would have batted him at No.3.”

Warne also suggested it was a mistake for Josh Hazlewood to play ahead of Hastings in virtual knock-out fixtures against Pakistan and India.

“Hastings is a better option in a Twenty20 game because of his yorkers,” he said.

“We saw him in the Big Bash bowl his yorkers, he’s just about the best we have.

“We were one-dimensional by not playing Hastings all the time.”

-AAP

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