Allan Border cricket Australia
Allan Border © Getty Images (file photo)

What should Australia look forward to ahead of the long upcoming season? They first play Pakistan in UAE before hosting South Africa and India, which is going to be an arduous task. Allan Border told Fox Sports how the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner is going to hurt Australia: “The concern for me is two of our best batsmen not playing for eight months. That’s the big concern. How do we replace that level of cricket?

“For me that’s the weaker area, the batting side of equation. There are good players, but it’s amazing how we can’t get those guys to be averaging in the 40s, if not the 50s like Warner and Smith.

Indeed, with 6,199 runs at 61.37, Smith is the only batsman barring Don Bradman to score 6,000 runs with an average in excess of sixty. Warner, on the other hand, has 6,363 at 48.20.

“We’ve got guys who are good players but they’re averaging in the mid-30s and at Test-match level that’s not going to get the job done, that’s the big worry for me: how are we going to replace those two players in particular? Because that will be key.”

However, Border remains upbeat about the bowling: “The thing to look forward to is we’ve got good quality bowling there. We’ve got the three main quickies, but we’ve also got other guys, Billy Stanlake, and a few of the other boys coming through the ranks on the bowling side of the coin.

[Nathan] Lyon with the spin bowling. I’d like to see someone like [Mitchell] Swepson given an opportunity. He’s been taken on a few tours without playing much. So maybe throw the leggie in there or [Ashton] Agar – whether he’s a Test match spinner, we have to find out pretty soon.

“I’m still confident we can take our twenty wickets to win games. Getting the runs is going to be the key.”