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Warne backing Hauritz

Legend insists the 29-year-old is Australia's No.1 spinner

Hauritz: Has Warne's backing

Shane Warne believes Nathan Hauritz will go into the Ashes series as Australia's No.1 spinner despite competition from Xavier Doherty.

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"I think Nathan Hauritz is our number one spinner, he has a very good record in Australia and I'm sure he'll get first chance."

Shane Warne

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Hauritz and the uncapped Doherty - along with Steve Smith - have been named as the spinning options in an extended 17-man squad for the opening Test at the Gabba.

The pair, though, will go head-to-head in the Sheffield Shield clash between New South Wales and Tasmania at the SCG in a battle of the spinners.

Warne insists 29-year-old Hauritz is already the man in pole position to take his place in the team to face England.

"I think Nathan Hauritz is our number one spinner, he has a very good record in Australia and I'm sure he'll get first chance," Warne said.

"I had a chat with him just before the Boxing Day Test last year and talked about being positive.

"I said 'mate, you're bowling well, get some right fields, work with Ricky (Ponting) to get the right fields and bowl to get someone out. Ask yourself how am I getting them out and if you ask how am I getting them out that naturally gives you a positive mindset'. And if he does that he'll be fine.

Options

"If he (Hauritz) doesn't do well, a bloke like Doherty is pushing and Steven Smith is pushing, so there are options and that's a good sign for Australian cricket.

"But I think Nathan Hauritz will get first chance, and he deserves it.

"He looks good (Doherty), I've worked with him a bit, not in a while, but whenever I worked with him he looks very good.

"He's definitely not a big spinner of the ball and that's something he's trying to work on, to spin it more, and this summer he looks like he's spinning it more, and that's great. I'm sure he'd do a very good job if picked."

While Warne has been impressed with Hauritz and Doherty, he admits England boast the best spinner in the world in the shape of Graeme Swann.

However Warne insists the 31-year-old could find things tougher this time around.

"Graeme Swann is the number one spinner in the world and the most improved cricketer in the world, so everyone is expecting him to do really well," he said.

"Expectation is on him for the first time which is different, and he's coming in as leading wicket taker for England.

"So it's a different feeling for him but I think he'll do really well and I'm impressed with what he did this summer in England while I was commentating over there. He was fantastic."