David Warner and Steven Smith have made a return to the Australia squad ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019 giving the management a headache of plenty. With ODI skipper Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja forging an excellent opening partnership, the management had to slot David Warner at one drop. But former Aussie cricketer and selector, Mark Waugh has opined that Warner should open the innings in the marquee event.
In the wake of the return, David Warner has scored runs consistently in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Currently, he is the highest run-scorer with 692 runs from 12 games including a hundred. This has undoubtedly put a doubt in the management, but they opted for the incumbent option in a recent practice game. But Mark Waugh feels Warner is still the best option to open the innings for Australia. The former selector also added that the southpaw is the best in the business during the powerplay overs and can give his team a flying start.
“I would definitely have him (Warner) opening. He is the number one opener, in my opinion, so he has got to open with Finch,” Waugh told the Big Sports Breakfast radio program. “He is the most dangerous when the field is up and the field restrictions are in place and he can get the team off to a flyer,” he added.
Khawaja or Marsh at no 3
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja’s record batting at no three is not pretty impressive. He averages only 24.33 in the ten matches he has played for Australia. Interestingly, Aaron Finch recently said that anyone of them – David Warner, Khawaja, and he will bat at one drop in the showpiece event. Mark Waugh, on the other hand, feels Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh is best suited for the no three role while the remainder of Australia’s batting order looks pretty clear cut.
“I think either Khawaja or Shaun Marsh bat at three and they should be fighting for that spot,” he said. “The rest probably picks itself…with (Steve) Smith at four, (Glenn) Maxwell at five, (Marcus) Stoinis at six and (Alex) Carey at seven,” he added.
Australia will begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1.