ANI Photo | Chief selector George Bailey provides hint on Australia’s next Test opener

Cricket Australia selection chair George Bailey has hinted that Marcus Harris is first in line to be David Warner’s successor and become Australia’s next Test opener.
Harris hasn’t played a Test match for his country since the final Ashes Test of the summer at the start of last year, but the 30-year-old was named ahead of a slew of other key batters in Cricket Australia’s contract list for the 2023-24 season on Thursday.
Harris was one of only three specialist openers to be given a new deal, with selectors opting to leave Matthew Renshaw and Cameron Bancroft off the 24-player list ahead of a busy summer that includes the ICC World Test Championship final against India in June and the Ashes series in England.
“Harry (Harris) was our spare batter throughout the Test summer at home…back in England, then another home summer and Tests in New Zealand we certainly rate Harry’s ability in those conditions,” ICC quoted Bailey as saying on Thursday.
“He has a really strong record in England as well and one of our criteria when doing the contracts is past performances and one is an eye to the future as well so that perhaps gives us an indication of where we hold Harry,” he added.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting recently suggested on The ICC Review that Warner should have retired from Test cricket earlier this year, but the 36-year-old was retained on the contract list on Thursday and is expected to play in the World Test Championship final.
While Harris may be at the top of the pecking order to replace Warner as Australia’s next Test opener, Bailey was quick to leave the door open for Bancroft and Renshaw to demonstrate their credentials despite the lack of a contract.
Bancroft will be in England for Somerset in the run-up to the World Test Championship final and the Ashes, while Renshaw has already demonstrated his class with a pair of big scores for Australia A in their ongoing series against New Zealand A.
“There is no doubt that Dave and Usman (Khawaja) are closer to the end of their careers than the start. We are going to need some depth and we are going to need all three of those guys performing really, really well for us and hopefully they make our decisions really challenging,” Bailey noted.
Australia will choose a preliminary squad later this month for the World Test Championship final and first two Ashes Tests and then reduce their list down to 15 for the one-off Test against India at The Oval at the end of May. (ANI)

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