Former captain Shane Warne has implored the Rajasthan Royals to open the batting with England star Jos Buttler in the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Warne captained the Royals to the inaugural IPL title in 2008. He is currently employed as the franchise's mentor and brand ambassador.
Buttler opened the batting prior to all-rounder Ben Stokes' inclusion in the XI. Since Stokes' belated arrival to the tournament, Buttler has been moved to the middle order.
“I think Buttler should definitely be opening,” Warne told Sky Sports' IPL Cricket Show.
“I think Ben can do a job opening the batting, but I would like Ben in the middle overs – that's where he has played all of his cricket and done really well.
“That's not to say Stokes can't open, but Jos to me – if you're picking a world XI, the first one pencilled in is at the top of the order, number one, is Buttler.
“I'm not sure why they've gone away from that. I think Jos has to bat at the top. I think Steven Smith should be the guy that's the backbone of the team in their batting.
“So he should probably open as well with Buttler, and then you've got Sanju Samson, Stokes – that's one to four, then guys like Rahul Tewatia who's done really well, and young Riyan Parag at five and six.”
IPL 2020 Conditions
The IPL 2020 is being played in the United Arab Emirates, not India. The pitches in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have become slower since the start of the tournament.
“As the wickets are getting slower as the tournament goes on, and the bowlers are getting so good now, the faster bowlers at the back end, you've got to maximise that powerplay. The best players bat all the way through, or they bat to the 16th, 17th and make a century,” added Warne.
“I was trying to help out where I can. My hands were a little bit tied and I would have liked to have had a bit more of an influence on the team, but they had other people in charge.”
Rajasthan have not won another IPL title since 2008's triumph. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions.
Rajasthan and Mumbai will meet on Sunday, 25 October.