Mike Hussey smacks down Mitch Marsh move as David Warner anoints Test replacement

Aussie selectors are still deciding on who will be the new Test opener when Warner calls it quits.

Mike Hussey, Mitch Marsh and David Warner.
Mike Hussey isn't keen for Mitch Marsh to replace David Warner at the top of the order. Image: Getty

David Warner has endorsed Marcus Harris as his potential replacement in the Aussie Test side, after Mike Hussey warned selectors against picking a non-specialist opener like Mitch Marsh. Warner will walk away from red-ball cricket after the third Test against Pakistan at the SCG, with Harris, Matt Renshaw and Cameron Bancroft all vying for his spot at the top of the order.

Some have also suggested that Mitch Marsh or Cameron Green could open, after Green was displaced from the team by Marsh during the Ashes earlier this year. Green is the most recent batter to be dropped from the Aussie XI, and has a significantly better Test record than Harris, Renshaw and Bancroft.

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Speaking after play on the opening day of the second Test at the MCG, Warner has nominated Harris as his choice to take over. The 31-year-old Harris, who was part of the recent Ashes squad, boosted his hopes of a recall with a big century in a tour game for Victoria against Pakistan last week.

"It's a tough one and it's obviously up to the selectors but from my position I feel like the person who has worked their backside off and has been there for a while in the background (is Harris)," Warner told reporters. "Harry's been there, he's toured ... he's always been that person who was next in line.

"If the selectors show their faith in him then I'm sure that he'll come out and play the way he does. He's not too dissimilar to me; if he sees it in his areas he goes for it and plays his shots. I think he would fit well."

Marcus Harris and David Warner.
Marcus Harris and David Warner in 2021. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Mike Hussey wants specialist opener to replace David Warner

Hussey earlier said it would be a mistake for selectors to pick Marsh or Green as an opener. "Opening is one of the toughest jobs in the game," he told reporters after it was confirmed he would be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

"So for me personally, if I was selecting, I'd be going for a traditional, proper opener - someone who's done it for a long period of time because if you haven't done it much in your first-class career it's going to be very difficult to come up the order. I'm not saying you can't do it, and maybe someone could evolve into doing that role, but I think it would be difficult for a player like Mitch Marsh.

"I know there's been talk about him going up the order, I think he's probably more suited, much like Travis [Head], to be in the middle order. I think that'd be the best for the balance of the Australian team."

Cameron Green and Mitch Marsh, pictured here in the Ashes.
Cameron Green and Mitch Marsh in the Ashes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Renshaw played two Tests in India earlier this year, while Bancroft hasn't been in the Test side since playing the last of his 10 matches back in 2019 in England. Bancroft has been in outstanding form in domestic cricket of late and was the leading run-scorer in the last Sheffield Shield season with 945 runs at 59.06. The 31-year-old also leads this summer's Shield season with 512 runs at 56.88.

"I like whoever's dominating the level below - who's been dominating in Sheffield Shield cricket over a period of time," Hussey said. "To be fair, they all have at various stages, so it's a tough job for the selectors.

"I hope that they reward the guy that's been performing very well at Sheffield Shield cricket. I think that sends a great message to the competition and it's great for our pathways if we're going to reward the guys that are doing well at first-class level."

Test and first-class records of contenders to replace Warner:

  • Cameron Green - 24 Tests at 33.59 average, first-class average 46.77

  • Cameron Bancroft - 10 Tests at 26.23, first-class 39.04

  • Marcus Harris - 14 Tests at 25.29, first-class 39.62

  • Matt Renshaw - 14 Tests at 29.31, first-class 38.76

with AAP

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