BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 18: Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed of Pakistan during day four of the First Test match between Australia and Pakistan at The Gabba on December 18, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has given Mitchell Starc the green light for the upcoming Ashes series after Shane Warne publicly questioned Starc's ability and suggested he should be replaced by Jye Richardson.

Speaking on Fox Sport's The Back Page Lee said Starc was a lock in for the Ashes.

“There’s so much media around (saying) ‘Mitchell Starc’s not good enough, he sprays the ball around,” Lee said.

“What would you rather face as a right-hand batsman - a ball shaping in at 150kms? I think that's the key, if you shape the ball in at 150kms, you pick him every single time. I would have him picked definitely."

Lee said it would be a bad move for Australia not to pick Starc for the team as he has played alongside fellow fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, all who have game style history and a solid team rapport.

“Those three guys pick themselves - Josh Hazlewood coming off a wonderful IPL, T20 World Cup, a wonderful Test bowler. He’s complemented beautifully with guys like Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc,” lee said.

Brett Lee's defence for the paceman comes after bowling legend, Shane Warne said Starc was not in shape for the Gabba next week. Speaking at the media day for the launch of Big Bash League supercoach, Warne told the press that Starc needs to "find a bit of rhythm and some form" for the upcoming Ashes.

“He had a really poor World Cup. He’s just not bowling well enough," Warne said.

“It’s too important at the Gabba. I’m all for Jhye Richardson (replacing Starc in the team).”

After injury rocked his international career over the past two years, the now in-form Jye Richardson took 23 wickets at 13.43 during the Sheffield Shield, placing him in good stead for the Gabba next week, if he is chosen to play.

The Ashes begin next Wednesday (December 8th) and Australia still have days to pick their Ashes team.