National selector George Bailey has not confirmed whether David Warner will open the batting for the first Test in the Ashes, despite the veteran being included in the squad to travel the UK. Without doubt, the biggest talking point ahead of Australia's squad to travel the UK for the Test Championship final against India and the Ashes was the selection of Warner.
Warner's form has taken a dive with the 36-year-old underperforming on tour once again in India. Warner's average dropped to 21.78 in India across his career after three poor scores to start the series.
To make matters worse, Warner's performances in England aren't much better. 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. On Tuesday night, wife Candice Warner defended her husband and claimed that no one had put their hand up to replace him, even if his recent form in England hasn't been ideal.
Marcus Harris was included as a potential opening partner for Usman Khawaja, but Warner's inclusion has many believing he will play the first Test.
However, when asked about Warner, Bailey didn't give much away and palmed off any early calls on the opening spot. "Not specifically to Dave, but we'll just get through that Test Championship," Bailey said.
"We'll be planning behind the scenes but we'll have a look at what that looks like as we get there. Different opposition and different surface in terms of going from The Oval to start the Ashes. So we'll work through that."
Bailey flagged a potential review of Australia's squad after the second Ashes Test, opening the door for those who weren't included initially.
"The way we are looking at that is it's a culmination of what's been a pretty consistent two years," Bailey said. It's been a pretty similar team for a long period of time. We are confident that's a team and that's a makeup that can have success."
Peter Handscomb doesn't make Ashes squad
Some of the big selection shocks included the omission of Peter Handscomb and the inclusion of Mitchell Marsh. Matthew Renshaw made the squad, as did Harris, while West Australian batter Cameron Bancroft also missed out.
The inclusion of Marsh, who last appeared in the Test team during the 2019 Ashes series, took many cricket fans by surprise after such a lengthy spell out of the squad.
Handscomb's strong form in India, combined with several excellent displays in English county cricket, had left many believing he would continue on in the Ashes. However selectors preferred Marsh as a back-up to all-rounder Cameron Green, particularly after the 23-year-old finger injury caused problems during the home summer.
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