Mark Waugh has stated that David Warner should be the first choice opener alongside Aaron Finch and shouldn’t be demoted down the order. In the practice match against New Zealand XI, Australia tried the tainted opener at No.3 with Finch and Usman Khawaja batting as the two openers.
Warner’s return to the national team in an unofficial warm-up match happened on the back of a prolific IPL with the defending champions needing to decide what their top-order combination should be for the World Cup. When Warner and Smith were out of the side, the team secured eight consecutive wins and there was a school of thought that the team would go with the same combination, making Warner bat at No.3, which the team tried out in the practice match. However, Mark Waugh is not a fan of this formula and stated that the returning New South Wales man should open alongside Finch.
“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.”
Aaron Finch had earlier made it clear that he would open anyway so as to keep the left-right combination and Waugh said that either of Khawaja or Shaun Marsh could be the man to bat at the most crucial position in ODI cricket.
“I think either Khawaja or Shaun Marsh bat at three and they should be fighting for that spot. The rest probably picks itself…with (Steve) Smith at four, (Glenn) Maxwell (at) five, (Marcus) Stoinis (at) six and (Alex) Carey (at) seven.”
Australia will play their first World Cup game against Afghanistan on June 1.
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