Former England captain Michael Vaughan has claimed Mitchell Marsh should open the batting for Australia in the Ashes, which would see the out-of-form David Warner bat down the order. Warner's position in the Test team has been heavily debated over the last few months as his performance levels have dipped.
The 36-year-old endured a tough tour of India before fracturing his elbow and being sent home halfway through the series. He will end with a career average of 21.78 when batting in India. And the opener doesn't fare much better when in England.
Warner averages only 26.04 from 25 innings when facing the Duke ball. Stuart Broad has dismissed the left-hander the most of any bowler in Test cricket.
In the 2019 series, Warner scored 95 runs across all five tests to end with an average of 9.50. He was dismissed all 10 times from the right-handed quicks who targeted the left-handover coming around the wicket.
And former England captain Vaughan has called for Marsh to open the batting. Marsh recently excelled in Australia's One-Day International series victory over India when he opened the batting.
This also saw Warner bat down the order in the third game. Having been recalled to the Test squad for the Ashes series, Vaughan believes Marsh should open the batting with Usman Khawaja.
“If I was Australia, I would really, really study the top of their order,” Vaughan told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Why would you want to throw out two left-handers to (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson? … Why would you give those two great bowlers exactly what they want at the top of the order to get themselves up and running?
“I would honestly look at someone like Mitchell Marsh to open the batting because it gets him in the team … he’s a right-hander and he might go down the aggressive route...try something a bit different?”
While Vaughan suggests Marsh at the top of the order, he feels Warner should come in when the ball isn't swinging as much. Vaughan said Warner would be devastating against the English quicks who would 'fear' the Aussie if the ball wasn't moving after 30 overs.
Warner has only batted once in the middle order in his stellar career. He walked out at No.6 against England in 2013 at Old Trafford where he scored five runs.
The 36-year-old is no certainly to make the Ashes XI against England come 16 June and selectors have also refused to guarantee Warner will be there. Aussie selectors have picked openers Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw in the squad for the World Test Championship final against India and Ashes against England.
However it appears increasingly likely that Warner will get one final crack and open the batting alongside Usman Khawaja in the Test Championship final.
Candice Warner defends David for Ashes spot
While Warner has been playing in the Indian Premier League ahead of the Ashes, his wife Candice Warner has been defending his position in the team.
When asked on The Back Page on Fox Sports whether David needs to perform in order to retain his spot, Candice replied: “Absolutely, he does. But so does the whole team.”
Candice then responded to questions about her husband's record in England when it was put to her that David has never scored a century in the UK and averages in the mid-20s. “I get all that, but if Dave doesn’t perform in that first Test, who do they bring in that’s better?” she asked.
Her answer drew criticism from former Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson. She hit back and claimed Johnson's comments 'don't have a lot of merit'.
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