Ricky Ponting's warning after Steve Smith makes huge call on replacing David Warner

Kerry O'Keefe was one name to weigh-in on the drama after the interview.

Steve Smith embraces David Warner and Ricky Ponting during commentary.
Steve Smith (pictured left) said he would consider opening the batting after David Warner's retirement, despite different calls from Ricky Ponting (pictured right) and Kerry O'Keefe. (Getty Images)

Aussie cricket greats have questioned the idea of Steve Smith moving up the order to open the batting after he suggested he would be open to it after David Warner's farewell. Warner played his final innings on Saturday having scored 57 on his way to helping Australia complete a 3-0 victory over Pakistan.

However, on Friday, Smith addressed calls that it could be him moving up the order to replace Warner after his retirement. Former opener Shane Watson first floated the idea, which prompted Smith to respond after the day's play on ABC Radio.

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“I’m actually happy to go up the top,” Smith said on Friday. “I’m sure the selectors and Ron (coach Andrew McDonald) and Patty (Pat Cummins) will have a chat after this game, but I am certainly interested. For sure.”

However, this move was quickly slammed by Kerry O'Keefe. The former player, turned commentator, addressed the move on Saturday and said it doesn't make sense to move the No.4 batter up the order.

“I don’t know whether it was a throwaway line or not,” O’Keeffe told Fox Cricket. “Steve Smith turns 35 in June, I don’t know at this late stage in his career, he’s in the twilight.

“He’s still playing pretty well, but to go from four to one, I don’t know. There seems to be a strong push to get Cameron Green somehow into that top six and that is a way of getting him there if Smith opens and Cameron Green comes in at four.

“The alternative is that Cameron Green opens. If you can’t fit Green in there, then you go back to Renshaw, Harris and Bancroft. There’s a lot of jigsaw pieces that have to fit."

David Warner reacts with his baggy green.
David Warner (pictured) finished his final Test match on Saturday having played for more than 12 years in the baggy green. (Photo by Jason McCawley - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Alex Carey was asked about Smith moving up the order and backed his skill to bat anywhere. “I think Steve can bat wherever he wants,” Carey said.

“He’s probably proven in his career [that] whatever challenge is thrown at him he’s found a way to succeed. I don’t know which way it’ll all end, it’s all just really exciting to be part of David’s last game and really celebrate that."

Shane Watson nominates Steve Smith as potential opener

Shane Watson threw Smith's name around before the third and final test match, which created a stir. “I like, knowing the person, the idea of Steve Smith opening,” Watson told reporters Gideon Haigh and Peter Lalor at a cricket event. “The reason why is that No. 3 is the perfect position for him. When he’s the man, he feels like he is the one who has to score the bulk of runs for his team, and when he was in his most prolific period, which was a long period of time, most of it was batting at No. 3.

“When he was at No. 3 … he was scoring runs for fun, but when he comes in at No. 4, often the work’s been done, and finding motivation is more challenging for him. Steve Smith opening the batting, he has got the technique, is the challenge he needs."

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne walk off.
Steve Smith (pictured left) said he could take on the challenge of opening if needed for the Aussie team.(Photo by Jason McCawley - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Ricky Ponting has been calling for a specialist opener to fill the position after Warner's retirement. Ponting has backed Cameron Bancroft to move into the starting XI after the series, despite calls for Cameron Green to also come back and move up the order.

"I wouldn't like to see him move," he told Channel 7 in regards to Smith. "All this talk, all they are trying to do is find a spot in the side for Cameron Green.

"If they are going to do it, it has to be with the least disruption to the batting order as it is. Smith and Labuschagne have been magnificent at three and four - they have been the backbone of Australia's batting for the last three or four years. I wouldn't like to see that disrupted. I think it should be Cameron Bancroft to get that chance."

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