A new chapter in Australian cricket is set to commence on Wednesday as Captain Pat Cummins has confirmed the lineup for the Test series opener against the West Indies.
This marks a significant shift, with David Warner, absent from Test level for the first time in over a decade, having retired after the recent Pakistan series whitewash. In his stead, Steve Smith will now take the opening position, and all-rounder Cameron Green has secured a recall, occupying the No.4 role.
Addressing the media ahead of the clash at Adelaide Oval, Cummins disclosed the composition of his team for the upcoming match against the under-strength West Indies. Notably, there will be just one change from the SCG Test earlier this month.
“We were transparent in our belief that Cam Green deserved a spot in our top six batters, and the only details to work out were related to the batting order,” Cummins explained.
“It wasn’t until around that time that we had serious discussions with ‘Smudge’ (Smith) and learned how eager he was to open and the reasons behind it.
“It made perfect sense to position Smithy where he enjoys batting, and Green in a role where he has scored runs in Shield matches and is familiar with. It just made sense.”
The formidable bowling trio led by Cummins remains unchanged, with fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc both included in the lineup.
Mitchell Marsh will retain his No.6 position following strong performances against England and Pakistan, while last year’s leading run-scorer, Usman Khawaja, will open alongside Smith for the home team.
As for the visitors, Kraigg Braithwaite disclosed that three players – Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, and Shamar Joseph – are set to make their Test debuts this week.
Former captain Jason Holder and all-rounder Kyle Mayers are unavailable due to T20 commitments, with the West Indies returning to Australia after last year’s challenging series loss.
- Australia XI: Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
- West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin Greaves, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Kemar Roach