Shane Warne, known for his quirky and controversial opinions, tweeted out his Australia XI for the first Test in Adelaide, and interestingly backed Matthew Wade to take Joe Burns’ place at the top of the order. Warne picked Marcus Harris as Wade’s opener while picking young Green at No.6.
It is not often that Australia head into a home summer not knowing who both their openers are, but unforeseen circumstances have put the hosts in a fix ahead of the first Test in Adelaide on Thursday. Injuries to David Warner and Will Pucovski, coupled with the disastrous form of incumbent Joe Burns, have meant that there is no certainty over who will bat at 1 and 2, despite the first Test starting in under three days’ time. While Marcus Harris was earlier drafted into the squad as Pucovski’s replacement and looks certain to be one of the two openers, Burns is still not assured of his place, after having posted scores of 4,0, 0 and 1 in the warm-up games against India.
Many have called for the management to draft in Shaun Marsh to replace Burns, but tweeting out his XI for the first Test, Shane Warne has chosen Matthew Wade as his preferred choice of opener alongside Harris. Wade, who opened in the T20Is against India recently, averages 50 at No.5 since his Test recall in 2019, but Warner has, surprisingly, chosen the southpaw to open, despite him never having done so in first-class cricket.
At 3, 4 and 5 in Warne’s XI are usual suspects Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head, while the legendary leggie has chosen young superstar Cameron Green as his No.6. Green looked destined for selection after smashing a ton against India in the first warm-up game at the Drummoyne Oval, but he, too, is currently under an injury cloud after being hit on the face by a Jasprit Bumrah straight drive at the SCG three days ago.
Skipper and wicket-keeper Tim Paine has slotted in Warne’s XI at No.7, while there are no surprises on the bowling front, with the 51-year-old picking the quartet of Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood to complete the bowling attack.
Shane Warne’s XI for Adelaide: Matthew Wade, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (wk) (c) , Pat Cummins (vc), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood