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Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne Backs THIS Batter To Replace David Warner As Opener

Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne feels Steve Smith could be the perfect replacement for David Warner as opener

Edited By : Shashwat Nishant | Updated: Jan 8, 2024 14:00 IST
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Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner
Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner

David Warner’s retirement has been the most talked about incident in the ongoing Australian summer. Another thing that has kept the team management and the former cricketers busy is to analyse the player who can replace the southpaw in the Test squad. Both skipper Pat Cummins and head coach Andrew McDonald endorsed that anyone can be sent to open, as they are not just looking for a specialised opener.

Ahead of the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney, Steve Smith complicated the equation by expressing his desire to take up the role. As per media reports, Cameron Green was in contest with other specialised openers like Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris, but as things stand, Smith too has made a case for himself.

Marnus Labuschagne suggests that assigning Smith a new role could spark his motivation, considering that Smith tends to have a better batting average when positioned higher in the lineup. Labuschagne, aged 29, believes that Smith, hailing from Sydney, would excel in this new position due to his proactive approach to batting, rather than waiting for opportunities.

“He averages 58 at five, 61 at four and 67 at three, so it seems like the higher he goes the more he averages. I’ve got no doubt if that’s the way we went, he would do very well. He really wants it, he wants that motivation… waiting to bat is not his forte, he wants to get out there straight away,” Labuschagne told SEN Cricket.

Labuschagne Happy With Any Role

Labuschagne is content with fulfilling any role assigned by the team but has a preference for batting at No. 3 due to the variety it offers. He emphasized once more that the team possesses sufficient opening batsmen. However, it appears that Smith is the favored candidate to replace Warner in that position.

“I’m happy to do what the team needs, but I do love batting at three, I love the variety of the role. At the moment it could be anyone… I’ve seen the media throwing around Travis Head, throwing around me, obviously the three openers outside of the squad, Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris. Smudge (Steve Smith) seems like the lead frontrunner, the one that really wants it,” Labuschagne said.

Also Read:Is Ishan Kishan Out Of Favour For T20 World Cup 2024?

First published on: Jan 08, 2024 01:58 PM IST

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