Australia to name David Warner’s replacement before WI series: Andrew McDonald

Australia produced a clinical display to win the first Test of a three-match Test series against Pakistan by 360 runs in Perth. On Friday, December 29, Pat Cummins and Co. won the series by registering a 79-run win in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne against the Asian giants.

The third and final Test match is set to commence on Wednesday, January 3, in Sydney. This will be the final match of legendary opener David Warner in the Test format. There has been a lot of discussion regarding Warner’s potential replacement. The names of openers like Matt Renshaw, Cameron Bancroft, and Marcus Harris have been doing the rounds. However, there is also a possibility of bringing in all-rounder Cameron Green in the middle order and moving someone from the existing team to open with Usman Khawaja.

On Saturday, December 30, the selectors are set to have a meeting to decide the squad for the third Test against Pakistan. Australia head coach Andrew McDonald said that a decision on Warner’s replacement will only be made when the selectors decide the squad for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies.

“All options will be considered. 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,” McDonald was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The prospect of having Green as the second seam-bowling all-rounder in the team alongside Mitchell Marsh is quite enticing. McDonald admitted that there have been discussions about the possibility of fitting in Green in the middle order and going with the best six batters.

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

With no evident injury concerns and all players being in relatively good form, no major change should be expected in the Australian squad for the SCG Test.

He was asked his opinion and we’re happy with him to express that: Andrew McDonald

Recently, David Warner was asked about his potential replacement. The southpaw picked Marcus Harris ahead of the other applicants. While some former cricketers didn’t like Warner anointing his Test replacement, McDonald had a different perspective on it.

“Davey’s not a selector. And I remember back to when I think Davey endorsed Matt Renshaw so I think the next one will probably be Cam Bancroft and then Cameron Green and he’ll have all bases covered, but…it’s great when a fellow player endorses someone else internally. It means that they’ve probably excluded other players as well, but he was asked his opinion and we’re happy with him to express that,” McDonald said.

Warner is expected to skip the white-ball leg of the West Indies series to play for the Dubai Capitals in the second season of the ILT20. McDonald said that the 37-year-old will apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Cricket Australia (CA) to participate in the cash-rich league. The former Aussie all-rounder said that it is important to consider the NOC requirements on a case-to-case basis.

“He’ll apply for an NOC. It’s something that we work through any time it’s in season. Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis went to the UAE last year as well. So every application is different in terms of the circumstances with what cricket they’ve got coming up, so I’m sure he’ll apply. It’ll be considered. George Bailey and Ben Oliver will work through that and there will be an outcome,” McDonald said.

“I think Matthew Wade was given an NOC to miss a Tasmania game for the IPL as well. I think every case should be considered individually,” he concluded.