Sydney:Australia legend Shane Warne said rookie Steve Smith has "all the toys" to become a top leg-spinner ahead of his likely Test debut against Pakistan, but warned against setting expectations too high.
Warne told Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper that while the 21-year-old could ultimately become "something special", his development was far from complete.
"He is pretty raw and a work in progress -- nowhere near the finished product," said Warne. "He really has to make sure he keeps his feet on the ground. We shouldn't be expecting too much of him just yet."
Smith, who has just 13 first-class games to his name, is expected to play in the first Test at Lord's in London from Tuesday, in a series which was moved from Pakistan over security concerns.
Warne said he would have preferred Smith to be given more time to develop and hoped expectations would not be too high.
"He will have to learn his craft on the run, while playing Test cricket. That is pretty difficult to do. But as long as he is patient with developing slowly, I am OK with that," said Warne.
However, former Test captain Ian Chappell and leg spinner Stuart McGill both said Smith should have been brought in earlier, for the Test series against New Zealand in March.
"The thing about the kid is he's just a bloody good cricketer, he's not just a leg-spinner," Chappell said.
"He's got four first-class 100s, he's a fantastic fielder, he's a viable second spinner in a Test side and he doesn't appear to bowl a lot of rubbish."