Former Australia national cricket team Head coach Justin Langer has shared his views on whether Mitchell Marsh or Cameron Green should start the innings for the Aussies in David Warner’s place for the remainder of the Ashes 2023 series.
Australia are off to a good start in the ongoing five-match Test series against England. Usman Khawaja has been scoring runs steadily, but his fly partner Warner has struggled to get going. In six innings, Warner has posted scores of 9, 36, 66, 25, 4 and 1.
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Following Warner’s slump on the high-profile Ashes series, many have called for his exclusion from the team. Also, with Mitchell Marsh making a highly successful return to Test cricket, there have been calls for the all-rounder to open the batting for the Pat Cummins-led side.
Also read: AUS vs ENG: “Dropping David Warner would cause too much drama” – Justin Langer warns Australia
Marsh, 31, replaced Cameron Green in the Australia XI at the Headingley Test. Notably, the young all-rounder was ruled out of the match due to a “low-grade” hamstring strain.
Marsh showed off his aggressive play and played destructive innings. With genuine power from him, he crushed English bowlers all over the park and scored 118 runs from 118, with 17 fours and 4 sixes. He reached his century in the third Test of 102 deliveries, which was the fastest tonne by an Australian in England since 1902.
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Mitchell Marsh’s father, Geoff, was an opening batsman for Australia; Mitch Ain’t – Justin Langer
Meanwhile, Justin Langer in his column for The Telegraph, stated that Green has never started in red-ball cricket and is not ready to take responsibility. He added that Mitchell Marsh isn’t a natural starter like his father and giving him the starting job would be a mistake. He elaborated:
“Cameron Green has never started red-ball cricket in his life and his inference was that he is not ready for that responsibility at this stage of his fledgling Test career. Mitch Marsh’s father, Geoff, was an opening batsman for Australia; Mitch isn’t. Opening batting with him would be a mistake in my opinion.”
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He also opined that Australia should not push Marnus Labuschagne from No.3 to the starting position. Langer stated:
“The problem of moving Labuschagne up the order interferes with the natural rhythm of the group and disrupts the rest of the batting order. Players prefer to hit in the positions they get used to.”
“My point of view for a long time is that if you hit in the top three, you can hit anywhere in the top six. From four down, you’re more likely to succeed only as a mid-level player. Facing the new ball in a test match is a skill that takes time to master. Players like David Boon have managed to go from three to wide, as have I, but we had the luxury of facing the new ball in our previous roles.
Also read: Ashes 2023: “The truth is that I always found it difficult to bowl with Davey, and I still do” – Stuart Broad on David Warner
Australia hold a 2-1 lead in the ongoing series and a win in the fourth test would give them a series win. The fourth Test between England led by Ben Stokes and Australia led by Pat Cummins will be played from 19-23 July. The match will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester.