Moises Henriques    AFP
Moises Henriques AFP

Ahead of the Ashes 2017-18, Australia s No. 6 and No. 7 spots are up for grabs. Darren Lehmann had indicated about the same in one of his interviews recently. Glenn Maxwell is hoping to find his spot through JLT Sheffield Shield matches, as he has not got a single half-century from 27 innings across formats, since his debut Test century against India earlier this year. The options are open for Hilton Cartwright as well as Marcus Stoinis, who made his opportunity count during the ODI series against India.

Now the new bloke who has entered an already heavyweight list, is Moises Henriques. His quick-fire 46-ball 62 in the second T20I at Guwahati has complicated the task. However, Henriques has been receiving backing from former Australian batsman Steve Waugh. Henriques should be considered for the championship is what Waugh reckons.

Waugh, who has played 168 Tests from 1985-2004, explained the reason behind picking Henriques, Moises Henriques has been in good form the last couple years in domestic cricket (and) I think he’s ready to play Test match cricket again. He’s a very good player. It’s good he’s put his name back up there again. No.6 is up for debate, I guess it’s Maxwell or Stoinis or maybe Henriques or maybe a couple of other options there, Waugh told Big Sports Breakfast radio.

Another conundrum that Australia are currently battling out is that of the wicketkeeper role. Where several former cricketers have backed the return of Peter Nevill, a few continue to support Matthew Wade.

Wade might have just received a brownie point here again. Again we’re talking about who is going to be the keeper, but they tend to focus on the ‘keeper scoring runs not how he’s taking the ball. (Peter) Nevill was doing a great job and got dropped and now (Matthew) Wade’s actually improved his ‘keeping and now they’re talking about dropping him. (Nevill) was the fall guy last time. He’s a fantastic cricketer. But you’ve got to be fair to Matthew Wade now. He kept pretty well in the subcontinent. It’s difficult to know where they go from there.

Another trending topic that cannot be ignored is Ben Stokes. The all-rounder would not be boarding the plane with his teammates on October 28, with the investigations regarding his late-night brawl still going on.

Kevin Pietersen was the latest to suggest that Stokes should not be in the Ashes plane. England would struggle without Stokes and cannot win Ashes, opines Waugh. England without Ben Stokes, if he doesn’t come, I don’t think they can win the Ashes. I think if it was anyone in the Australian side, they wouldn’t be picked. You can’t do that these days in public. It just didn’t look good and it’s a bad image for the game. I can’t see England winning and it’s too much pressure on (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson, and they’re getting a bit older, and I can’t see them playing five Test matches straight.

In the end Waugh also gave away his predictions, I think Australia will win 3-1.