The discussion started after David Warner’s retirement from Tests. The 37-year-old opener was seen in Australia’s white jersey for the last time in the match against Pakistan in the Melbourne Test. Since then, the question has been circulating in the Australian cricket community, who will play in Warner’s place in the Test?
Many former and current cricketers of Australia have given their opinion about the opening. Steven Smith is also in that list. He said without hesitation that he is interested in the opening. Smith’s interest has been controversial. According to some, it would be a good decision to give Smith the opening. Others are saying that Smith should play in the position he is in.
Australia could not come to any solution with the opening in the Test. In such a situation, the country on the Tasman side has announced the team for the upcoming West Indies series. They will play two Tests, three ODIs and a three-match T20I series against the Windies. Where Smith has been given the responsibility of leading the ODI series.
Meanwhile, Australia has also announced the Test series in addition to the ODI. Matt Renshaw got a place in the team despite not giving a chance to Marcus Harris and Cameron Brancroft, who were in talks about the opening for a few days. However, he may not be seen in the first Test of the series in Adelaide.
Australia’s chief selector George Bailey said about the eleven of the first match, although Cameron Green has been kept in the eleven, Matt Renshaw can be seen as a reserve batsman. George Bailey said, ‘Cameron Green will be included in the XI for the Test in Adelaide. We have selected a team that we believe has six of the best batsmen in the country.’
Meanwhile, the regular captain Pat Cummins has been rested from the ODI team to relieve the pressure of consecutive games despite being in Tests. Mitchell Marsh will not be seen for the same reason. Australia played under Marsh on the tour of South Africa before the World Cup. Besides, Mitchell Starc and Jos Hazlewood, Cummins’ partners in the pace attack, will be rested in the ODI series.
Marcus Stoinis, who was in the last ODI World Cup squad, lost his place in bad form. In addition, Warner, who announced his retirement from the ODI version earlier this year, was not included in the ODI squad for the West Indies tour. However, the 37-year-old opener said that he can play in the 2025 Champions Trophy if the team wants.
25-year-old pacer Lance Morris has been called up to the national team for the first time. Besides, Jhai Richardson got a place in the ODI team for the first time after the tour of Sri Lanka in 2022. Australia have also included Aaron Hardy, who made his debut in the tour of South Africa before the ODI World Cup.
The two teams will meet in the first Test of the series in Adelaide on January 17. The second and final Test of the series will be played in Brisbane on January 25. They will then play a three-match ODI series. The three matches of the ODI series will be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra on February 2, 4 and 6 respectively.
After the ODI series against the West Indies, the world champions will not be seen in a 50-over match before September this year. At this time, Australia will play a short match as a preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup. They will also play three T20Is against Windies. However, Australia has not announced the T20 team yet.
Australia Test Team for West Indies Series: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.
Australia’s ODI squad for West Indies series: Steve Smith (captain), Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Greene, Aaron Hardy, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Jay Richardson, Matt Short, Adam Zampa.