Warne rates Australian squad

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Sydney, July 4(ANI): With the Ashes series scheduled to begin in less than a week's time, former Australian spin legend Shane Warne has rated each player of the Australian squad.

Warne has indicated that captain Ricky Ponting is the mainstay of the batting line-up, who would be full of motivation on his fourth Ashes tour. Warne maintained that Ponting would lift the urn.

Warne expressed confidence about openers Simon Katich and Phil Hughes. He remarked both players are unpredictable, unorthodox and super-effective, the Courier Mail reports.

Warne admired Katich for cementing his place in the side, while Hughes was seen as the new superstar of the squad.

"Katich was in and out of the side for a lot of his career, but over the past 12 to 18 months, has really stepped up and nailed his spot as opener," said Warne.

Meanwhile, senior players Mike Hussey, vice-captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson were seen as the backbone of the squad, whom the entire team can rely upon when under pressure.

Warne expects experienced bowlers Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark to play a vital role.

"If he (Lee) is bowling fast and the ball is swinging he will form a formidable new-ball partnership with Johnson. Like Johnson, too, he is good for some lower-order runs," said Warne.

Warne also believed that inexperienced players -Marcus North, Graham Manou, Andrew McDonald, Nathan Hauritz and Peter Siddle- would come of age in the tournament to provide a good and regarded them as Australia's secret weapon for the tournament. (ANI)

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