Former Australian opener and head coach Justin Langer added that Australia shouldn’t drop David Warner for the fourth Ashes Test to be played at Old Trafford, Manchester from July 19. Langer added that if they drop a match-winner like Warner looking at his poor form, it could be difficult for them as well.
In his column for The Telegraph, Justin Langer said: “The Australian selectors have shown their hand and would be wary of making a change for this huge Ashes Test match in Manchester. They stuck with him after Australia’s first two wins and must trust their instincts again. Despite Warner’s obvious discomfort with Stuart Broad, dropping the left-handed match-winner would be far too disruptive.”
Langer further added: “Dropping him in the middle of an Ashes series would cause too much drama. The commotion that would accompany such a decision would be an unwelcome distraction in the changing room. Selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide are calm heads, they are not gamblers. Nor is captain Pat Cummins. All three would be aware of the potential diversion if Warner does not walk out to open.”
However, Australia could also think about Travis Head as an opening option as he had opened in the Tests against India earlier this year as well. Justin Langer also feels Head is best suited in the middle order and his position shouldn’t be tinkered now as well.
“Opening the batting is a specialized role and it is rare to see make-shift openers work. Travis Head opened in India but the conditions were vastly different to England and he would be the first to admit it wouldn’t be his preference. He is too valuable to Australia’s middle order, playing an Adam Gilchrist-style role of aggression and counterattack,” he again shared.
In his column for The Telegraph, Justin Langer also opened up about Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green. He also opined on whether Marnus Labuschagne could open
He said: “Cameron Green has never opened in 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 the batting with him would be a mistake in my opinion. The problem of moving Labuschagne up the order causes interference to the natural rhythm of the group and disrupts the rest of the batting order. Players prefer batting in the positions they become accustomed to.”
However, Justin Langer also opined that Australia shouldn’t depend on the all-pace attack in Manchester. He shared how great Australian sides over the years have always had great spinners and stated Todd Murphy needs that exposure in the veteran Nathan Lyon’s absence.
“There has been talk of not picking a spinner and playing four quicks. This won’t happen, especially at Old Trafford. Nathan Lyon was a massive blow, but Todd Murphy must play. Australian cricket has a proud history of picking spinners. It is part of our DNA. We like having a spin bowler as part of our winning blueprint and if we are to continue this trend then opportunities like this for Todd Murphy are paramount; short and long term,” Justin Langer concluded.