Sydney, April 18 (IANS) David Warner may have struggled during the red-ball series in India, but former captain Mark Taylor believes Australia will pick the left-handed opener for the World Test Championship 2023 Final against India at the Oval in June and the subsequent Ashes series in England.
Taylor feels Australia will put their faith in the fellow left-hander Warner, who found his mojo with a double century against South Africa at the Boxing Day Test, though could manage scores of 1 & 10, 15 & DNB in the first two Tests before returning home with an injury in Australia’s away series defeat to India.
Besides his even 200 against the Proteas late in 2022, Warner has failed to reach fifty in the last 18 Test innings and also averaged just 9.50 on the last Ashes tour in 2019.
Despite this, Taylor feels Australia’s selectors, set to name a squad for the WTC final and the first two Ashes Tests this week, will stick with the 36-year-old Warner.
“If I am reading the tea leaves right, it sounds like they will stick with David for the World Test Championship (final) at The Oval,” the former Test captain told AAP.
“And if that’s the way Australia are thinking about the World Test Championship, then yes, they have to start with him for the Ashes.”
Australia’s coaching staff has hinted the squad will be re-evaluated after the Lord’s Test beginning on June 28.
Warner in the meantime has kept his eye in through white-ball, scoring 228 runs across five matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL), though his Delhi Capitals are still winless in 2023.
Taylor feels Warner and Usman Khawaja will be the pair to walk out for Australia on June 7 in the WTC Final, though he would ideally like to see a right/left-hand combination in the future to ask more questions of opposition bowling attacks. Cameron Bancroft, who enjoyed a fruitful Australian domestic summer, may be the man to step up should a change be made.
“It would be very hard to have Usman Khawaja and Warner open the batting and then change a week later for the first Test at Edgbaston.
“My old way of thinking, I always like a right and left-hander combination. So I would love to see Cameron Bancroft get another opportunity at the top of the order,” he said.
“I see (Matt) Renshaw has been making runs in New Zealand (for Australia A), but Bancroft has made a heap of runs in the Australian summer.”
Marcus Harris too has put his name forward off the back of consistent runs across domestic cricket in Australia and in the UK, most recently making a second-innings century for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan.
Taylor thinks Harris’ flow of runs puts him in the discussion, though Bancroft and Renshaw are better in other facets, mainly in the field.
“One thing I do like about Bancroft, which I also like about Renshaw, is their ability to catch in the field. In the next year or two, we’re going to need to find two openers. The one thing that has worried me about Marcus Harris is his fielding.
“The way this series is looking like panning out, fielding is going to be crucial. I think that will go against someone like Marcus Harris, whose fielding is not great,” Taylor was quoted as saying in the report.