Shane Warne highlights Australia’s two mistakes for fifth Ashes Test

Shane Warne highlighted Australia’s two mistakes for the fifth Ashes Test (Picture: Getty)

Australia should have selected James Pattinson over Peter Siddle for the fifth Ashes Test, according to Shane Warne, who also believes Tim Paine made a mistake by electing to bowl first at The Oval.

Justin Langer’s Australia beat England by 185 runs in the fourth Test to go 2-1 up and take an unassailable lead in the Ashes series, meaning they will retain the urn regardless of the outcome of this match.

Joe Root’s side can still draw the series, however, and prevent Australia from becoming the first touring side to win the Ashes in England since 2001.

Australia opted to replace Mitchell Starc with experienced fast bowler Siddle for the final Test and Warne believes it was a mistake to overlook Pattinson.

Tim Paine surprisingly opted to bowl after winning the toss (Picture: Getty)

And the Australia legend also questioned Paine’s decision to bowl after winning the toss at The Oval this morning.

He said: ‘I’m a little bit surprised – one that they are bowling first, because they are giving up a huge advantage in this series.

‘This pitch is going to spin. Yes, there’s a little bit of grass on it but it looks a good, flat pitch to bat on.

‘The only argument I can think of for Australia bowling first is that Buttler and Bairstow have been a bit out of form.

Peter Siddle replaced Mitchell Starc for the tourists (Picture: Getty)

‘Then there is a long lower middle-order and I think Australia believe that if they can get a couple of early wickets that they could run through it.

‘Pattinson should be playing instead of Siddle. What is Siddle playing for? Pattinson must be injured.’

Former England captain Michael Atherton also questioned Australia’s decision to put the hosts in, telling Sky Sports: ‘There is some grass there.

‘I looked at the pitch yesterday. The one thing I would say about the Oval is that back in the day they looked white and hard and now they don’t look like that.

Australia opted to overlook James Pattinson (Picture: Getty)

‘When they have that brown colour, which is the colour of the soil beneath that grass often they don’t last that well.

‘So if you do put a team in you had better hope that you bowl them out today because it often spins late in the game.

‘It is a bit of a gamble.’

Explaining Pattinson’s omission, Paine said: ‘James is someone who we’ve been really pleased with what he’s done in his return to Test cricket over here.

The Aussies are 2-1 up in the series with one Test remaining (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s bowling very, very well. He’s going to be a huge asset for us going forward.

‘We said from the start we want to make sure we look after him so he’s got a lot more years in him of Test cricket.

‘We can’t wait to get him back to Australia and unleash him during the summer.’


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