batsman Steve Smith has been chosen as the opener for the Adelaide Test in Australia, instead of a designated batsman.
The selectors of Australia have chosen Steve Smith to take the place of David Warner at the beginning of the lineup, deciding not to select a dedicated opening batsman.
The selectors have revealed their 13-man team for the upcoming two-Test matches against West Indies on Wednesday. The first Test will commence on January 17 at Adelaide Oval, with all-rounder Cameron Green set to play at No 4 in the starting lineup.
Matt Renshaw and Scott Boland have been included in the team, but they will be arriving later and will most likely serve as reserve batsmen and bowlers.
George Bailey, the chief selector, stated that Steve Smith will start as the opening batsman and Cameron Green will be taking on the No. 4 spot, which is great news.
“We have chosen a team that we feel has the top six hitters in the nation.”
The selectors chose not to include a specialist opener in order to have a balanced team with six top batsmen and the all-rounder Green.
In June, when Warner revealed his intentions to retire, it was anticipated that the competition to fill his position would be among Renshaw, Marcus Harris, and Cameron Bancroft.
Bancroft has continued to accumulate the highest number of runs in the Sheffield Shield, following up on his impressive performance last season for Western Australia where he also claimed the top spot.
However, Australia’s selectors recognize Green as a highly skilled player, who also offers a legitimate fifth fast-bowling choice in addition to Mitch Marsh and the three fast bowlers.
Bailey stated that the performance of the rest of the batting order led them to believe that a very skilled player, Green, may struggle to secure a spot in Test cricket over the next year.
I do not believe this will greatly help Greeny. Playing would bring many advantages. We have been discussing possible solutions and where he could fit in.
“Steve is enthusiastic, motivated, and eager to start the project.”
Bailey confirmed that the possibility of Smith returning to a lower batting position had been discussed with Steve.
He stated that he thinks this will be an important chapter in his career.
“We do not look too far into the future…[but] essentially, this is where Steve wishes to remain.”
“It is admirable that someone who has achieved significant success in a particular role or roles within the middle order is willing to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and challenging.”
Pat Cummins, the captain of Australia, cautioned against shifting Smith to the opening position in order to accommodate Green at No 4. He was worried that this change would create too much disturbance in the batting order.
However, authorities have ultimately concluded that this is the most effective course of action, as they believe it can inspire Smith and potentially prolong his career in Test cricket.
Green is back on the team after being left out during the previous year’s Ashes, where Marsh replaced him and scored a century at Headingley.
The only modification to the starting lineup that defeated Pakistan 3-0 at the beginning of the Test season is his joining the team.
The roster for the West Indies Test series in Australia includes Pat Cummins as the captain, along with Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith, and Mitchell Starc.