Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer ignored amid revelation about David Warner successor

The Aussie cricket greats have called for a specialist opener to be picked when Warner retires.

Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer.
Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer have both called for a specialist opener to replace David Warner. Image: Getty

Andrew McDonald's admission that Cameron Green is still in contention to replace David Warner as Test opener comes in direct opposition to calls from a number of Aussie cricket greats like Ricky Ponting. Green is vying with Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw to take over from Warner when the veteran opener retires from Test cricket after the upcoming match at the SCG.

Warner will pull up stumps on his illustrious Test career in front of his home fans in Sydney, opening up a spot for someone new to come in for two matches against the West Indies. Ponting, Justin Langer and Mike Hussey have all declared that a specialist opener should replace Warner, which would rule out Green.

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But Aussie coach McDonald admitted the all-rounder is firmly in the mix - despite only ever batting at No.6 at Test level. "All options will be considered," McDonald said last week.

"We're not going to make the decision until the deadline, which would be the West Indies game. But yeah, Cameron Green, as a discussion around who are the best six batters, would definitely be in the discussion."

Ponting previously nominated Bancroft as his preferred option. When asked recently if Green could replace Warner he said: “No chance. Time to go back and find Australia’s next best opening batsman with the India Test series and Ashes in mind.”

Langer also suggested a specialist opener would be a better option, while Hussey said: "Opening is one of the toughest jobs in the game. So for me personally, if I was selecting, I'd be going for a traditional, proper opener.

Cameron Green and Andrew McDonald, pictured here before the first Test against Pakistan.
Cameron Green and Andrew McDonald. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

"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 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 Bancroft speaks out amid debate over Test opener

Warner copped criticism last week when he said he'd be picking Harris, while Bancroft also said he thinks a traditional opener should get the gig. "I've opened the batting in Shield cricket for over 10 years. It's not an easy place to bat," he told AAP on Sunday.

"It comes with challenges, and my whole career I've problem-solved trying to find ways to flourish in those sort of circumstances. Some players have switched and gone and opened the batting and done really well. But not everyone puts their hand up to go and open the batting. I feel like it probably is a specialist position and it's certainly a really challenging one. But a very rewarding one as well."

Cameron Bancroft, pictured here with David Warner in 2019.
Cameron Bancroft and David Warner in 2019. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Bancroft was the leading run-scorer in last summer's Sheffield Shield season, amassing 945 runs at an average of 59.06. He is again leading this season's charts with 512 at 56.88.

Harris and Renshaw have both been part of Australian squads during that time, while Bancroft hasn't played a Test since being dropped during the 2019 Ashes series in England. "I've had some conversations (with selectors) over the last 12 months or so and asked some questions about what I can do to improve," Bancroft said.

"I'm always looking to improve and get better. I wanted that feedback from them. But I guess it always comes down to scoring runs, so I've just tried to go out and do the best I can no matter what format of the game that I've been playing."

with AAP

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