‘Best six batters in the country’: Green’s return confirmed in squad for Windies series, but opener mystery deepens


Steve Smith’s move to the top of the batting order to replace David Warner is still up in the air after Australia named their squad for the upcoming two-Test series against the West Indies.

Cameron Green’s return to the team has been confirmed, with Matt Renshaw, a back-up opener, and Scott Boland the extra men in the 13-player list.

Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris, the other contenders for the job to fill Warner’s shoes at the top of the order, have been snubbed, with reports suggesting Renshaw’s versatility, having batted at Test level both as an opener and in the middle order, was what got him the nod.

The opening spot is still up for grabs between Smith and Green, however, with a News Corp report claiming the former is likely to win the nod as yet unconfirmed.

Whichever way the selectors opt for when the first Test in Adelaide begins on January 17, the move represents a desire to get Green back into the team and to give him the best chance to shine, elevating him to play in a specialist batting position alongside Mitchell Marsh as the bowling all-rounder. at number six.

“Cameron Green will come into the playing XI for the Test in Adelaide in a squad also containing Scott Boland and Matthew Renshaw,” chief selector George Bailey said in a statement.

“We have selected a team we believe contains the best six batters in the country. Scott Boland and Matt Renshaw will join the squad prior to the first Test after playing for the Melbourne Stars (Jan 15) and Brisbane Heat (Jan 13) in the BBL.”

The question of Warner’s successor has been a controversial one, with both Bancroft and Harris, the most likely candidates to step in for Warner if selectors wanted an established opener, ignored in favour of an internal reshuffle.

The pair are 31 and, in a team that is sorely lacking youth, it would appear that a decision has been made to move past Bancroft and Harris in favour of the 24-year-old Green.

Though Smith has never opened in Test cricket, he averages 67 in the format coming in at first drop, and is well used to facing the new ball.

Green bats at four for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield and averages 54 in domestic first-class cricket.

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Smith will captain the ODI team for the series that follows with four of the World Cup-winning squad, including skipper Pat Cummins, rested after the Tests, with Travis Head as vice-captain.

Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are all to sit out, with Aaron Hardie, Matt Short, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Ellis coming in, as well as Lance Morris, who would be in line for an ODI debut.

“It is a little over 12 months until the Champions Trophy and further opportunities for the likes of Aaron Hardie, Matt Short, Jhye Richardson, and Nathan Ellis will be valuable both to our ongoing improvement as a team and also further their personal experiences in ODI cricket,” said Bailey.

“The squad strikes a balance between players continuing to make their mark on international cricket, playing alongside some of our most experienced players with an eye to the future in this format.”

Australia Test squad to face West Indies

Pat Cummins (c)
Scott Boland
Alex Carey (wk)
Cameron Green
Josh Hazlewood
Travis Head
Usman Khawaja
Marnus Labuschagne
Nathan Lyon
Mitchell Marsh
Matt Renshaw
Steve Smith
Mitchell Starc

Sports opinion delivered daily 


Australia ODI squad to face West Indies

Steve Smith (c)
Sean Abbott
Nathan Ellis
Cameron Green
Aaron Hardie
Travis Head
Josh Inglis
Marnus Labuschagne
Glenn Maxwell
Lance Morris
Jhye Richardson
Matt Short
Adam Zampa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.