Tim Paine has revealed whispers from inside the Australian cricket camp that David Warner will bat down the order at the upcoming Cricket World Cup so Mitch Marsh and Travid Head can open. Legendary Aussie opener Adam Gilchrist said last week that Warner deserved the first shot at opening, but that doesn't appear to be the plan.
Speaking on SEN radio on Saturday, Paine said Warner will most likely bat at No.4 or 5 with Head and Marsh opening - as was the case during Australia's last ODI series against India in March. “That’s something I have heard,” Paine said. “It’s going to be imperative to get off to really fast starts and right now, Travis Head and Mitch Marsh are our most explosive players.
"I think Warner can come in at No.4. He’s a good player of spin, he’s fast between the wickets, he’s also got power and can control the innings. So I like having him in the middle order in those conditions. And I have heard that from a few people, that it’s certainly been talked about.”
Marsh and Head opened the batting against India in March after Warner fractured his elbow in the Test series and couldn't play the first two ODIs. When Warner returned for the third games of the series he batted at No.4 and scored 23.
Marsh finished the 2-1 series victory as Australia's leading run-scorer and was named player of the series. He scored 81 in the first ODI before combining with Head for an unbeaten stand of 121 as Australia won the second game by 10 wickets. Marsh scored 66 not out from 36 balls, while Head made 51 from 30.
Adam Gilchrist says David Warner should be opening
Despite Marsh's stellar form, which he carried into the Ashes after getting an opportunity midway through the series, legendary white-ball opener Gilchrist said there should be no debate about Warner's place alongside Head at the top for the order for the World Cup. Australia will play back-to-back series against South Africa and India in coming weeks, where we should get a clue about Australia's plans.
"You don't take (Warner) if you're not going to start with him and open with him," Gilchrist told AAP last week. "He well and truly warrants being picked in that World Cup squad and the starting XI. He's a World Cup winner. I think his knowledge and experience in India will be vitally important to the Aussies doing well."
Gilchrist pointed out that Warner's form had also been patchy heading into the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2021, but the veteran hit his stride at the right time. He helped Australia win the trophy and earned selection in the team of the tournament.
"He doesn't mind being backed into a corner," Gilchrist said. "That's probably not the way he always wants it to play out but he knows how to throw a counter-punch here and there."
Gilchrist said a strong World Cup campaign could give Warner the momentum he needs to finish his international career the way he wants - with a home Test farewell at the SCG. "Hopefully it launches him into a summer here, or half a summer here so he can hit the point (at the SCG) that he's suggested he wants to," Gilchrist said.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.