Mitch Marsh shuts down order shift amid David Warner cricket retirement debate

The middle order batter is not a fan of moving up the order.

Mitch Marsh (pictured right) has shut down the idea he could take over David Warner's (pictured left) opening role when he retires. (Getty Images)
Mitch Marsh (pictured right) has shut down the idea he could take over David Warner's (pictured left) opening role when he retires. (Getty Images)

Mitch Marsh has emphatically shut down any idea he could shift up the order after David Warner's retirement with the search for a new opener ongoing. Marsh was the hero on day 2 for Australia having scored 90 runs in front of his home crowd having muscled his way to a powerful knock.

Marsh rejoined the starting XI for Australia during the Ashes and has shown he belongs in the baggy green in the middle order. Having averaged 50 in the UK after his return for Cameron Green, Marsh has used his power hitting to counter attack Pakistan and England in recent Tests.

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And Australian fans have questioned whether Marsh could be the batter to move up the order, to accomodate the empty position left by Warner when he retires after the Sydney Cricket Ground Test. Many former players have advocated for someone in the middle order to open the batting to allow Green to shift back into the team.

However, just like Marnus Labuschagne before the Perth Test, Marsh has shut down the notion it could be him to move up the order. "Absolutely not," he said when asked about the idea.

“How do I answer this without creating a headline? For me, I appreciate there is talk about it and eventually we are going to need a new opener with Davey leaving. But I have worked really hard to get back into this side and for me to look forward to having a role as an opener just doesn’t make sense to me. I love batting at No.6. I guess in my last four Test matches, I have really found my way in who I am as a Test cricketer and I am loving it, so I am reluctant to change that.”

Mitch Marsh speaks.
Mitch Marsh (pictured) isn't a fan of moving up the batting order. (Photo by James Worsfold - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

And Marsh said he doesn't have the game for an opener, but rather worked his way back into the team playing his own style of cricket. “I have said it numerous times, but I am thankful for Patty and Ronny (captain Pat Cummins and coach Andrew McDonald) for helping me get to this point," Marsh added.

“Like I said before, my method works (for me) and I have also said multiple times that I don’t necessarily have the technique of ‘Smudge’ (Steve Smith) or Marnus (Labuschagne), where they can defend and leave and defend and leave for hours, and get through those periods.

“I know when I show really good intent, I move better and can defend good balls, but ultimately I can put pressure back onto good teams." Marsh did just that for Australia with Pakistan chasing down 487 in the first innings in Perth.

David Warner retirement leaves opening role position

Warner’s impending departure from the national side has seen somewhat of a bat-off for his spot, with Cameron Bancroft viewed as his most likely replacement. Bancroft has scored the most Sheffield Shield runs this season and last, but failed to make runs in his first Big Bash match for the Thunder, trapped in front by Mitchell Swepson for 25.

Matt Renshaw's unbeaten 136 was the most impressive PM XI knock of those in the running for the Test opening spot. Bancroft and Marcus Harris both got off to a strong start but failed to turn their starts into big scores, out for 53 and 49 respectively. Much of the same can be said for Green, who is also pushing for a recall after being replaced by Mash during the Ashes series, dismissed for 46.

Green could potentially be given the chance as the Australian opener or slot in down the order with the likes of Marsh and Labuschagne floated as possibilities of moving up the order to open.

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