Shane Warne believes Victorian batsman Rob Quiney deserves to replace retiring great Ricky Ponting despite the miserable start to his Test career.
Quiney managed just nine runs in three innings in the first two Tests against South Africa, before being dropped when Shane Watson returned from injury for the Perth decider.
Quiney’s failures have seemingly left Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja as the top candidates to replace Ponting – who played his final Test innings on Monday – when Australia begin their next Test series against Sri Lanka, starting in Hobart on December 14.
But Warne said Quiney remained the best long-term option at No.3 as Australia look towards trying to regain the Ashes next year.
He said Quiney should not be overlooked based on two Tests against the world No.1 team.
“He’s been the best player for a period of time now,” Warne told reporters in Melbourne.
“Yes, he didn’t do that well and he had three hits in two Tests, got a pair, didn’t play that well.
“But it’s a great time to get Bobby in now for the next series.
“You’ve got to start looking ahead and say these guys we bring in, who’s going to play pretty well in India? Who’s going to play well in England against the swinging and seaming ball?
“Bobby Quiney’s got the best technique out of any of the candidates bar none … I’m pretty confident Bobby will be there for at least four or five years if he gets a good run at it.”
Australia tour India for a four-Test series in February-March then head to England for the Ashes series in July.
Warne said the bowling attack also needed work, given the way they were belted around by South Africa in the second innings in Perth.
“The conditions, okay it was a bit flat, but I think Michael Clarke had no chance to set a field when guys are bowling knee-high full tosses, wide, straight, full, short,” Warne said.
“… I felt like jumping off the couch, flying to Perth and grabbing the ball.”