‘No chance’ Green should replace Warner says legend, Pakistan slammed for ‘ridiculous’ time-wasting
Ricky Ponting has rubbished calls for Cameron Green to take over from David Warner when the veteran Australian opener retires, urging selectors to pick a specialist replacement.
Ponting’s former teammate Simon Katich is among the prominent figures who believe emerging allrounder Green could step up at the top of the order.
But legendary former captain Ponting believes a specialist is required with a long-term view towards blockbuster series against India and England in the next two years.
Asked on Thursday about the prospect of Green replacing Warner, Australia’s all-time leading Test run-scorer was blunt.
“No chance,” Ponting said on the Seven Network.
“Time to go back and find Australia’s next best opening batsman with the India Test series and Ashes in mind.”
Warner, who will retire after the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney, this week nominated Marcus Harris as his preferred replacement.
It sparked a stinging response from former Australian selector Jamie Cox, who said Warner should not be publicly voicing an opinion on the matter.
Harris is one of three specialist openers in the running for a recall for two home Tests against West Indies in January, along with Matt Renshaw and Cameron Bancroft.
Ponting has previously thrown his support behind Bancroft, who played the last of his 10 Tests away to England in July 2019.
Bancroft has elevated his game over the last two summers and was the leading run-scorer in last season’s Sheffield Shield, with 945 runs at 59.06.
The 31-year-old heads this season’s leaderboard with 512 runs at 56.88.
“If you look at those three guys, I think it’s quite clear that Bancroft is the one that’s got the runs on the board and I wouldn’t be surprised if they (selectors) go that way,” Ponting told SEN a month ago.
“If you wind the clock back about six months it might have been a slightly different order than what it is now.
“I think they probably had Harris as the one that would come back in a while ago.
“To me now it sort of feels (there’s) a bit more of a groundswell behind Cameron Bancroft getting first crack.”
Another of Ponting’s former teammates, Mike Hussey, also believes a specialist opener is required to replace Warner.
As well as calls for Green to open, there have been suggestions that Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head or Mitch Marsh could move up the order to make room in the line-up for the allrounder.
“Opening is one of the toughest jobs in the game,” Hussey said this week.
“So for me personally, if I was selecting, I’d be going for a traditional, proper opener; someone who’s 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 to come up the order.”
Pakistan slammed for ‘ridiculous’ time-wasting
Pakistan’s time-wasting tactics have drawn the ire of the ‘grumpy old men’ in the commentary box, with Ian Smith, Mark Waugh and Michael Vaughan unleashing an epic rant after a lengthy delay in play.
Batter Aamer Jamal was hit on the back by Cummins, with the tourists using the incident as an excuse to slow the game right down even after a start delayed by a wet outfield.
“All of a sudden we’ve got three attending the two Pakistan batsmen and the Australians are coming out with a drink as well,” said Smith.
“There’s 25 minutes gone and Cameron Green is coming out (with pads) because it looks like Nathan Lyon’s not too far away.
“We sound like grumpy old men up here. We’ve been going for 25 minutes and there’s 20,000 people who’ve sat patiently inside and outside wondering why they’re not out there anyway with a little bit of drizzle around.
“We talk about over rates and entertainment, value for money – what did he do then, the physio? It’s ridiculous. You’ve got to call it as you see it.
“It used to be a game of attrition and that meant you had a drink every hour. Towards the end of the session you started to get really thirsty, but that was it. It was called a Test match for that reason.”
Waugh questioned how much impact the physio could have on a body blow.
“This is where the umpires have to say ‘hang on’,” he said.
“He’s going to be worrying about his back, but that’s just part of batting, isn’t it? Wearing a few on the back or shoulder.”
“What’s the physio going to do for a ball on the back? What can he possibly do for him? You’ve just got to say no, off, it’s part of the game. He’s getting a little massage now. Seriously, he’s banging him on the back.”
Vaughan chose to see the funny side.
“(Umpire) Michael Gough is thinking he’ll have a drink,” he joked. “Get some coffees and teas and a few biscuits.
“It’s three grumpy old men but you’re right. 12 overs were lost yesterday, 12 out of the allotted overs of the day, that are put to one side and no-one bats an eyelid.”