Australia news – What’s been said – who should replace David Warner?

Australia news - What's been said - who should replace David Warner?


Who replaces David Warner has been the hot topic around Australian cricket for a number of weeks. The latest twist is that Steven Smith has publicly been the keenest to do it, but the push is growing to get Cameron Green back in the team. It all has a couple more days to run before the selectors name the squad to face West Indies. Here’s a recap of what various voices, from inside and outside the team, have said.

“I wasn’t an opener. I had to learn on the run. It was challenging, but I think from my perspective, my game is to be attacking and my defence takes care of itself. A traditional opener will go out there and look to leave length, play the ball on its merit, probably not be as aggressive. Can you develop as a batsman if you’ve not opened? I think you can. At this level you’ll adjust.”

“Opening’s not easy, it’s tough work. I can tell you that because I’ve batted one, two, three, four, five and six for Australia and I can tell you by far opening’s the hardest. Opening can be a very, very tough thing to do; mentally more than physically so I’m always a bit shy of not letting people that haven’t opened much in the past, open the batting for Australia.”

“[Smith] averages 58 at five, 61 at four and 67 at three – so it seems like the higher he goes, the more he averages. I’ve got no doubt if that’s the way we go, he would do very well. He really wants it, he wants that motivation… waiting to bat is not his forte; he wants to get out there straightaway.”

“I’m actually happy to go up the top. I’m pretty keen if that’s what they want to do. I’m sure the selectors and Ron [Andrew McDonald] and Patty [Cummins] will have a chat after this game but yeah, I’m certainly interested for sure.”

“I think [opening] it’s a specialist job. The guys that have been waiting to get into the team for a while deserve the first crack at it. But the conversations are ongoing with everyone…only one for me is [opening in] the subcontinent. I don’t see myself moving around too much in the future.”

“For me I appreciate there’s talk about it and eventually we’re going to need a new opener with Davey leaving, but I’ve worked really hard to get back in this side and for me to look forward to having a role as an opener just doesn’t make sense to me. I love being at number six and in my last four Test matches I’ve really found my way and I guess who I am as a Test cricketer and I’m loving it, so I’m reluctant to change that.”

“Steve can bat wherever he wants. He’s probably proven in his career, whatever challenge is thrown at him he has found a way to succeed. We’ve got some great openers doing a fantastic job. Obviously a few other names are thrown out there. Smudge’ [Smith] putting his hat in the ring, if he was to get the call-up he would do a great job. He’s faced the new ball a few times.”

Will any of the specialists get a call?

Will any of the specialists get a call?Getty Images

“I’m pretty happy with [Smith’s] output at No. 4. Obviously Marnus [Labuschagne], Smudge [Smith], Trav [Head] and [Mitchell] Marsh have been pretty impressive at Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6. So first instinct isn’t probably to disrupt that.”

“[Steve] had some strong thoughts, he’s made those public. So we’ll consider all options,” McDonald said in the wake of Australia’s eight-wicket win over Pakistan at the SCG. It’s nice to have him putting his hand up. I think there were a few others that weren’t putting their hand up. But Steve at No.3 or No.4 is pretty appetising also. You’ve got to make sure you’re not removing the strengths of the team in the search to fill a gap also. So there’s a balance within that.”

“Some players have switched and gone and opened the batting and done really well. But not everyone puts their hand up to go and open the batting. I feel like it probably is a specialist position and it’s certainly a really challenging one. But a very rewarding one as well.”

“It’s a good debate. You’d have to ask [the selectors] what they want to do. It’s up to them. Opening the batting is not the easiest thing in the world. I feel like I’ve had seven or eight years of good cricket. Probably ever since I’ve moved to Victoria feel like I’ve proven myself enough, especially in domestic cricket, whether or not in international cricket that’s up for debate and other people’s opinion. In my last couple of Tests felt I was just getting going then things out of my control didn’t go my way, but that’s okay.”

“I think opening in Test cricket is probably the hardest job – you’ve got the brand new ball, you’ve got the bowlers when they’re freshest, the pitch could be its juiciest – so it’s a bit hard for guys to come in who have never opened the batting before to try and do it.”

“All this talk, all they are trying to do is find a spot in the side for Cameron Green. If they are going to do it, it has to be with the least disruption to the batting order as it is. Smith and Labuschagne have been magnificent at three and four – they have been the backbone of Australia’s batting for the last three or four years. I wouldn’t like to see that disrupted. I think it should be Cameron Bancroft to get that chance.”

“Opening is one of the toughest jobs in the game. So for me personally, if I was selecting, I’d be going for a traditional, proper opener. Someone who has done it for a long period of time. Because if you haven’t done it much in your first-class career, it’s going to be very difficult to come up the order.”

“Australia needs to get Cameron Green into the team and the opportunity that you’ve got right now is for him to open. They’ll just have to manage his bowling, for sure, like with my bowling when I was opening the batting. But he absolutely has got the skill, the run-scoring ability and the understanding to be able to make the most of being an opening batter for sure. It might take him a game or two just to be able to work out exactly what his game plan is. But he’s definitely got the game and the mentality to make the most of it.”

“I’m going Cameron Green. Got to get him in the team. He offers with the ball, in the field. He could be a bit like Shane Watson. He batted down the middle then he opened the batting for Australia. He’s a good player of fast bowling. I feel he gets a bit nervous sitting around all day so get him in against the new ball. He has a sound technique, big tall boy, I’m going with him.”


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