Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne has hinted he could be persuaded to return to test cricket, if Australian captain Michael Clarke wanted him.

The 43-year-old retired from test cricket in 2007, but told the Herald Sun he had "absolutely no doubt" he could bowl at test level again.

If his former teammate Clarke asked him to return for next year's Ashes series, he would consider it.

"If your best friend says, 'mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and coming back out of retirement', (to) make myself available for selection, that's a different scenario," Warne said.


"Especially with back-to-back Ashes coming up next year, it could be a 12-month thing where you take three spinners with you and say, 'righto, work with these spinners and see how you go for 12 months'. That's a different kettle of fish.

"I'm definitely not asking for Michael Clarke to come out and say that - that's a different scenario."

Warne is the second highest wicket-taker in test history, with 708 wickets, behind his Sri Lankan rival Muttiah Muralitharan.

The Victorian told the Herald Sun he felt the urge to return to test cricket following Australia's loss to South Africa in Perth, where the Proteas dealt to Australia's bowling attack.

"When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup (Clarke), I really felt for him."

Warne said the "time and actually making that commitment" would be a barrier to his returning, not his bowling ability, saying if the first test was in three weeks "I'd have no hesitation in saying yes - and I think I'd do pretty well".

The veteran still plays in T20 cricket, and will play in the Big Bash League opener for the Melbourne Stars on Friday night.

- nzherald.co.nz