Although Harris, Bancroft, and Renshaw are considered, there is still a chance that someone else might be promoted.

Cameron Green is still a strong candidate to be called up in a batting order shuffle, and all options will be taken into consideration when deciding who will open the batting for the West Indies series in January instead of David Warner.

Speaking the day after Australia defeated Pakistan by 79 runs in Melbourne to take a 2-0 lead in the series, with one match remaining in Sydney, coach and selector Andrew McDonald confirmed that all options for Warner’s replacement were still up for discussion. These options included all-rounder Green going back to the middle order as well as specialist openers Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft, and Matt Renshaw.

For the third consecutive match at the SCG, which will signal Warner’s retirement from the format, Australia’s team appears likely to remain unchanged. The team has remained stable throughout the Test summer with no notable injury concerns or form difficulties. The Australian selection committee will convene on Saturday to finalise the squad; however, it is improbable that they would decide Warner’s successor until following the third Test match against Pakistan.

“All options will be considered,” McDonald said. “And I said we’re not going to make the decision until the deadline which will be the West Indies game.
“There’s a few options. Everyone is well aware of the options. I’m a person that once you know when you’re going to make the decision, you make it at that point in time. Until then the discussions will be open. We’ll put a deadline on that. That’ll be the West Indies selection meeting.”

The selection committees are still debating whether to go with an experienced opener like Harris, Bancroft, or Renshaw, or to go with the best six batsmen available and just rearrange the batting order to suit them. Having two all-rounders in Marsh and Green is still very appealing.

“Cameron Green, as a discussion around who are the best six batters, has definitely been in the conversation,” McDonald said.

During the Boxing Day Test, Warner himself suggested Harris as a potential successor; however, McDonald remarked, sardonically, that this was not a reflection on the selectors’ minds, as the retiring opener had suggested a different name earlier in the season.

“Davey isn’t a picker,” McDonald declared. “It’s great when a fellow player endorses someone else internally, and I remember back to when I think Davey endorsed Matt Renshaw. I think the next one will probably be Cam Bancroft and then Cameron Green, and he’ll have all bases covered.” It implies that they have most likely left out other players as well, but we are pleased that he voiced his view after being asked.

Although Harris does not have a BBL contract, it is doubtful that the preferred candidate will be recruited to the Sydney team to be reintroduced to the playing group given that Bancroft and Renshaw have BBL commitments.

In addition, Green hasn’t played cricket since the Prime Minister’s XI game against Pakistan in early December and doesn’t have a BBL contract. Prior to the first Test beginning on January 17 at Adelaide Oval, there is a Cricket Australia XI tour match against the West Indies at Karen Rolton Oval from December 10–12. However, it is anticipated that he will not play in that game in order to obtain some playing experience.

In the meanwhile, McDonald said that Warner will submit an application for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) so that he may play for Dubai Capitals in the concurrent ILT20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, while missing three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches against the West Indies in early February.

McDonald stated that NOCs would be managed by George Bailey, the chairman of selectors for Cricket Australia, and Ben Oliver, the head of national teams, with decisions being made on an individual basis.

“It will be a NOC application,” McDonald stated. “Whenever it’s in season, we work through that. Last year, Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis also visited the United Arab Emirates. Since each application is unique based on the specifics of the upcoming cricket season, I have no doubt he will submit one. It will be taken into account. Ben Oliver and George Bailey will resolve it, and something will come of it.

“I believe Matthew Wade received a notice of non-occurring cast (NOC) to miss an IPL match in Tasmania. I believe that each instance needs to be evaluated separately.


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