Shane Warne is currently busy promoting his autobiography ‘No Spin’, where he charts his 708-wicket Test career in typically candid fashion.
The 49-year-old believes Australia have lost the “fear factor” ever since England won the 2005 Ashes, a series that is dubbed the greatest ever.
But Warne also thinks next summer’s Ashes series in England could be very delicately balanced.
Disgraced pair Steve Smith and David Warner will be back from their ball-tampering suspensions in time for that series, and Warne expects both men to regain pivotal roles in Australia’s set-up.
“I think they need to earn the respect back,” said Warne, of Smith and Warner.
“I don’t understand how it gets to that stage where you decide to take sandpaper into the dressing room and then use it on the ball.
“It’s going to be tough for them at first.
“Forgiveness takes time, but there’s nothing like making a couple of hundreds in a row and people thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve missed this guy’.
“They have to be aware that they’re in for a bit of a hostile time around the world until they’ve earned the respect back.
“By the time Smith and Warner are ready, Australia will be pleading to have them back, they are two of the top five best batsmen in the world. Australia desperately need them."
After discussing the controversial duo, Warne turned his attentions to the next Ashes series, and he truly believes his home nation can give England a good test.
“I think Australia will give England a real run for their money next year.
“I don’t think England have feared Australia since they won the series in 2005, which they deserved to as the better side. Since then England realised Australia can be beaten.
“Australia haven’t really got too many X-factor players. But I don’t think Australia really fear England too much now either, aside from Jimmy Anderson bowling with the Dukes ball.”