David Warner’s replacement could be player with strong white-ball form: Australian coach Andrew McDonald

"We know they can play, they have got good numbers in Shield cricket and I think if we were to go down that path and choose one of them, I think they would do a really good job," McDonald said of the trio who have all played 10 Tests each.

David Warner runs between the wickets Source: Getty Images

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Australian head coach Andrew McDonald has indicated that though there are still no firm views of selectors on who will replace David Warner as an opener, but doors are open for batters with a strong white-ball form.

David Warner batted in sunglasses during the training in Perth on Sunday as Australia assembled for its final Test series of the year. The 37-year-old wants a Test farewell in Sydney during the third Test against Pakistan and is likely to get it, but McDonald has maintained that just like everyone else, the opener’s spot remains subject to a constant review.

“Davey’s playing the first Test match and we’ll go from there,” the coach told reporters following a centre-wicket session at the WACA Ground as quoted by cricket.com.au.

McDonald stressed that until a replacement for Warner is needed, no succession plan has been put in place. Matthew Renshaw, who scored a ton in a tour match against Pakistan in Canberra along with Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris are front-runners to replace Warner, because of the varying success they have had in the Shield over the years.

“We know they can play, they have got good numbers in Shield cricket and I think if we were to go down that path and choose one of them, I think they would do a really good job,” McDonald said of the trio who have all played 10 Tests each.

But a less conventional approach could be considered. All-rounder Cameron Green will start the summer from the sidelines as McDonald confirmed that Mitchell Marsh will play at number six against Pakistan, after taking Green’s spot during the Ashes this year.

The young all-rounder could be replacing Warner when his spot becomes available. During this situation, another batter will be promoted to open to allow Green back into the middle order.

Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne have been doing rounds as such options to be promoted to the top of the line-up. Travis Head opened in white-ball cricket and took on the new ball in Tests when Warner missed the second half of the Border Gavaskar Trophy this year.

McDonald has stressed that during the World Test Championship, Australia must pick up its best playing eleven in every match. He suggested that strong performances in white-ball cricket could help player’s chances in Test cricket as an opener.

“I think a lot of our white-ball players that continue to play international cricket do not get a lot of Shield cricket, so there is always that ‘are they at the mercy of selection because they are not playing a certain format?” he said.

“You have got to really juggle that and balance that. We feel as though you can come from different running lines.”

“But the Shield competition, for mine, is very strong. We have had some difficult wickets this year, so it has been really hard to get a judge on what the batting units actually look like and what they may look like at international level.”

“… the currency is runs and there is some players that have put their hand up there.”

“I think we are in good hands and I think the domestic competition prepares them well.”

“Everyone sort of looks to the future and worries about what is next, and someone always puts their hand up. The next decision is the most important one once Dave goes. Dave has not gone yet so we do not have to make a decision,” concluded McDonald.
Schedule of Pakistan tour of Australia:

Prime Minister’s XI v Pakistan XI: December 6-9, Manuka Oval

First Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium

Second Test: December 26-30, MCG

Third Test: January 3-7, SCG

Australia squad: (first Test only) Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner

Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (c), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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