Aus vs Pak – Boxing Day test at MCG – David Warner picks his replacement – ‘Marcus Harris was always next in line’ – LSB

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David Warner has given a strong endorsement for Marcus Harris to replace him as Australia’s next Test opener after a day in which he and Usman Khawaja showed the value of having specialists do the job, sharing a 90-run opening stand in difficult conditions against Pakistan to help Australia weather the storm.

Warner and Khawaja batted almost through the opening session after Pakistan captain Shan Masood sent them out onto the MCG which had plenty of live green grass. The partnership ensured that Australia did not find themselves at a disadvantage as they reached stumps at 187 for 3 after losing 24 overs to rain.

The debate over who should replace Warner after his retirement from the format – at the end of the series – has turned into a talking point, with Michael Hussey adding to the debate by saying he would prefer to see a specialist do the job.

Warner was asked last July who should replace him. He spoke glowingly of Matt Renshaw’s credentials before mentioning that Harris had a “front row seat” as the touring reserve at the Ashes.

But after grinding out an 83-ball 38 in a lively 90-run opening stand, which included dropping Abdullah Shafiq for 2 off Shaheen Shah Afridi, Warner has backed Harris as the man to replace him after his retirement in Sydney.

“It’s a tough one,” Warner said. “Obviously it’s up to the selectors. But from my position, I feel like someone who has worked his ass off and been there for a while in the background, I think Harry was that person. He’s toured, he’ll have that opportunity. He scored a hundred that day [for a Victoria XI vs the Pakistanis].

“He missed two more games but he was always the next one in line. If the national team shows confidence in him, I’m sure he will come out and play the way he does. It’s not much different.” For me. “If he sees that in his areas, he’ll go to it, play his shots, and I think he’ll be a good fit.”

“He made a statement that he believed in, which is that all lives are equal. He wouldn’t have made that statement if he didn’t feel he could take the criticism. He knew he would take the criticism.”

David Warner on Usman Khawaja

Warner, 37, does not believe Australia will need a second opener any time soon despite his current partner Khawaja being the same age. He praised Al-Khawaja’s performance on the opening day. Khawaja scored only 42 but looked the more comfortable of the pair and made no mistake in the difficult morning conditions until he tried to cut out a late ball from Hasan Ali that was a little too close and a little too full and ended up going over. Second slip.

Warner believes that Al-Khawaja can continue as long as he wants, given his level and his importance to the team.

“I think Uzzy talked about the fact that he’s resigned himself to the fact that it was over a few years ago and now he’s playing like every game is his last,” Warner said. He added, “He will continue to play for as long as possible and this is a true testament to the way his mentality has been. His last 12 months have been absolutely fantastic and he can play as long as he wants and feels comfortable.”

Warner: Al-Khawaja is highly respected by a lot of people

Khawaja was wearing the names of his two daughters on his shoes, after recording the words that were written on them during training in Perth. Warner, who also wrote the names of his wife and daughters on his boots throughout the latter half of his career, believes Khawaja was not at all distracted by the off-field drama in the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test surrounding him. The ICC rejected his request to place a dove and an olive branch on his shoe and bat to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“Writing your children’s names is emotional for me, they are always with me and this is something he decided to do,” Warner said. “But he’s fine. He posted his statement that he believes in, which is that all lives are equal.

“He wouldn’t have made that statement if he didn’t feel he could take the criticism. He knew he was going to take criticism. At the end of the day, he’s a big boy and I just told him: ‘You’ve just got to keep believing in what you believe in and move forward in cricket’. And he did.” That’s fine.”

Warner was full of praise for the stand his longtime friend has taken and the example he sets in the community.

“He was always the leader of the group,” Warner said. “Even in NSW, when we were kids, he was always that guy who was always putting his hand out to help. Especially with his community stuff. The behind-the-scenes work that he does for his community and his organization is amazing, and I think that’s the kind of person he is. He is He has great respect from a lot of people.”

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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