Aussie cricket legend Adam Gilchrist has claimed David Warner deserves a chance to open for Australia at this year's World Cup having recently been relegated down the order to accomodate Mitch Marsh. Warner missed most of the One Day International series in India earlier this year due to an elbow injury sustained in the test series.
Marsh was promoted up the order and the allrounder was a standout with the bat having topped the run scoring charts across the three match series. He memorably scored 81 runs in the first ODI and forged a match-winning partnership in the second with fellow opener Travis Head.
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Fan-favourite Head is a certainty to open the batting at the top of the order for the World Cup and debate has started over who should feature next to him. Many believe Marsh should retain his spot having excelled in the recent hit-out against the tournament favourites.
Warner is coming to the end of his international career with the opener announcing his retirement from test cricket after Australia's summer. And with his form dropping off, many believe Australia should look to the future immediately.
However, Aussie cricket great Gilchrist believes Warner deserves one more chance to show his credentials on the biggest stage. "You don't take (Warner) if you're not going to start with him and open with him," Gilchrist said.
"He well and truly warrants being picked in that World Cup squad and the starting XI. He's a World Cup winner. I think his knowledge and experience in India will be vitally important to the Aussies doing well."
Warner, Marsh and Head have all been picked in the upcoming white-ball series against South Africa, ahead of the October World Cup. And Gilchrist believes Warner plays his best cricket when counted out.
"He doesn't mind being backed into a corner," Gilchrist said. "That's probably not the way he always wants it to play out but he knows how to throw a counter-punch here and there."
Warner's test career is also in the balance. The opener announced he would retire at the end of the Australian summer, bringing an end to his 12-year test career. However, critics are calling for Australia to already look to the future and hand another batter experience. This comes as Warner once against struggled for runs away from home in the Ashes.
But Gilchrist believes strong World Cup campaign could give Warner the momentum he needs to begin the Test summer on song and finish his international career as he hopes. "Hopefully it launches him into a summer here, or half a summer here so he can hit the point (at the SCG) that he's suggested he wants to," Gilchrist said.
Mitch Marsh takes over captaincy role
While Warner's role in the team is uncertain, Marsh has embraced the role as one the leaders in the locker room. Last year, Marsh ruled himself out of a captaincy role as he wanted to focus on his own game.
Fast-forward a year and Marsh will lead Australia out both white-ball formats in South Africa as captain. And the allrounder admitted he is ready to take the opportunity and run with it. "At that time I probably just didn't want to be spoken about," Marsh said on Tuesday.
"It honestly comes back to the relationship I have with Andrew and Patty, working together as a team. I've come a long way as a person and learnt a lot captaining Western Australia, having great people like (coach) Adam Voges and Ashton Turner around me to learn as much as I can.
"Hopefully I'm a good captain. If not I won't be in the job for very long, that's OK. I'm just looking forward to the opportunity."
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