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Paine backs Warner and Smith to make Ashes impact: I see them having a huge part in us winning the series

The two batsmen will become available for selection for Australia once against at the end of March, 12 months on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, and are expected to slot straight into the squad for the five-match series in England

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Steve Smith and David Warner will have "a huge part" to play in the Ashes this year, according to Tim Paine.

The two batsmen will become available for selection for Australia once against at the end of March, 12 months on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, and are expected to slot straight into the squad for the five-match series in England.

"I think everyone to a degree has to earn their stripes. I think those two have got plenty of runs in the bank if you like," Paine said.

"Look, I see us going to the Ashes and them having a huge part in us winning the series. That's how I see how important they are to this team.

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Australia captain Tim Paine

"We know how good they are and hopefully once their bans are up they'll be welcomed back and they will win Test matches like they did before."

Australia's Test side rediscovered its mojo during two emphatic victories over Sri Lanka and, with the addition of Warner and Smith, there is renewed optimism that they can retain the urn.

"What we have seen over this summer is we are starting to build a squad with plenty of depth," Paine said after the second Test saw four batsmen make centuries.

"There's probably anywhere between 16 and 25 players we think are now in the mix, which is a really good place to be."

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