Former South African batter AB de Villiers in his latest YouTube video claimed that Steve Smith will not be a good option as an opener for Australia as they try to replace David Warner. His comments have come in the light of Cricket Australia’s search for a long-term replacement for Warner who retired from Test cricket last week.
Australia claimed a 3-0 whitewash win against Pakistan in the Benaud-Qadir Trophy which was Warner’s farewell Test series. In his final innings, Warner scored 57 to help the Aussies start their summer season in style. They are now gearing up to welcome West Indies for a 2-match Test series starting from January 17 at Adelaide.
In this series perhaps we will find out who will be pairing with Usman Khawaja at the top. A lot of names like Matt Renshaw, Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris, and Cameron Green have been touted to replace Warner while number 4 batter Steve Smith himself threw his hat for the opening slot.
Head coach Andrew McDonald and captain Pat Cummins expressed their views on Smith’s desire to open, claiming that they are satisfied with the right-hander’s contribution in the middle order. They also stated that such a move can also disrupt the team’s balance which saw them clinch 2 ICC trophies last year – the WTC and the CWC trophy.
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However, reports emerged on Wednesday morning that the Aussie management has given the green light to Steve Smith to go and face the new ball with Khawaja and the new change will be implemented when the Test series against West Indies begins.
Cricket Australia also announced the squad for the series, recalling Cameron Green and Matt Renshaw in the Test side, both of whom were in talks to replace Warner. But Fox Cricket confirmed that neither of them will actually open and could be slotted into the middle order.
“I Don’t Agree” – AB de Villiers Provides Honest Take On Steve Smith Opening For Australia
Cricket Australia’s decision to let Steve Smith face the new ball has received mixed reactions on social media. Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers said that he doesn’t agree with this. He claimed that it could actually reduce Australia’s strength in the middle order.
He also said that in case Smith doesn’t perform well as an opener he will face a lot of backlash and it will be ultimately Australian cricket’s loss.
“I don’t know if I agree with this (Smith opening). Where has he got the most success in the past ten years and the highest average of all batters in the past ten years? He has won so many games for Australia. When bowlers pick up 2-3 early wickets, they still know they have to get past Steve Smith, or else he will win the game for his side,” De Villiers said.
“Smith has a big match temperament. But now if you throw him up the order, suddenly he gets two good nuts and two ducks, he is suddenly not playing an integral part of the glue holding the Australian middle order together. I wouldn’t agree with that, but it is upto Cricket Australia to make the decision,” De Villiers concluded.