GK: Talk to us a little bit about Steve Smith. Not quite sure what the situation with that elbow injury is? How much will he be available? But if he does play in this high-profile tournament with all that has happened of late and working with you is going to be an interesting dynamic as well. How are you looking forward to that?
SW: Yeah, everyone is waiting to see what happens with the elbow and I suppose we will be reacting to how he comes up with his elbow. Well hoping from an Australian point of view, I know from the Royals point of view that he is fine, he will be able to play. He is up there with the best players in the world and he has proven that. So, if he is fit and raring to go, he will be hungry with a point to prove. And he would want to play, he would want to get some games in before the World Cup which is an advantage for the Royals. So we are just waiting like everybody else and hopefully, he will be OK.
GK: I wanted to obviously ask you about this ban ending now with Steve Smith and David Warner, they will be available for selection. After all that has happened with Australian cricket in the last year or so, do you believe the Australian public, in general, are ready to embrace these guys back?
SW: They have to get back in their class. David Warner is one of the best opening batsman in the world, Steve Smith, I think probably up there with Virat Kohli. In Test cricket Smith, Kohli, probably AB De Villiers are the 3 best batsmen in the world, I'd say probably Virat at No. 1...in Test cricket Smith is just a shade behind Virat Kohli. Even though he bats like a tailender, he scores amazing amounts of runs and the way he does it, he is hard to get out. So, Smith and Warner are pure class, they walk straight back in. The Australian public and the worldwide public I think will give them a hard time and the Australian side need to earn the respect back of the cricketing community around the world by their actions and the way they play their game. But I think in a way that's why Australia have got a bit of an edge in the World Cup because Smith and Warner will be hungry. They will be so determined to play well and they'll realise how much they have missed the game. So that's why I think don't write off Australia at the World Cup. I think they are going to be a big chance and I am looking forward to Smith and Warner playing.
First Published: February 12, 2019, 8:30 AM IST