Sydney, Nov 10: Shane Warne today said he was concerned about Australia's batting but backed struggling skipper Michael Clarke to score heavily this summer season. The spin great said the congested home season looms as an opportunity for Australia to win some big trophies and regain the status of the top team in world cricket.
Australia begin a five-game one-day series against South Africa this week before a four-Test series against India and tri-series of one-dayers against India and England this domestic season. The World Cup then starts in Australia and New Zealand on February 14.
Warne, the second highest Test wicket taker (708) behind Sri Lanka's Muttaiah Muralitharan (800), said Australia had enough match-winners to win the World Cup, if the right team was selected. While he likes the look of the country's pace and spin bowling options, he is concerned about the batting after the poor efforts in their recent 2-0 Test series drubbing by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
"I thought as a collective group they didn't bat very well against Pakistan," he said. "They played pretty poorly, so I'd like to see the batsmen start making some runs. If they do that, I'm sure the bowlers will be able to knock them over.
"But watch out for Michael Clarke, I think he'll make a few big hundreds soon." Clarke has averaged just 27.46 in his last 16 innings and managed just 2, 3, 47 and 5 in his four innings during Australia's series loss to Pakistan, but Warne believes the captain is poised to start another golden run.
"I think they can win the World Cup, they've got enough match winners, we've got the best captain in the world in Michael Clarke," Warne said.
"I'm sure he'll find some form ... I think he's in pretty good touch. I think he's cleared up his mind a little bit and I think he'll do pretty good."