Steve Smith’s move to the top of the batting order to replace David Warner has been all but confirmed with the veteran named Australian squad to face the West Indies in Adelaide at the expense of other potential openers Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris.
Cameron Green’s return to the team, likely in the middle order spot vacated by Smith, also seems highly likely with Matt Renshaw, a backup opener, and Scott Boland the extra men in the 13-player list.
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 as a specialist batter with Mitchell Marsh retained as the bowling allrounder.
“Cameron Green will come into the playing XI for the Test in Adelaide in a squad also containing Scott Boland and Matthew Renshaw,” said chief selector George Bailey.
“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 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.