Steve Smith to open for Australia in first Test vs WI

Adelaide, Jan 10: Premier Australia batter Steven Smith will open the batting for the hosts’ alongside Usman Khawaja in the first Test against West Indies at the Adelaide Oval, starting January 17, confirmed chief selector George Bailey.

Bailey also said that promoting Smith to top of the batting order, a role which he hasn’t played before in Tests, will also allow Australia to play fast-bowling all-rounder Cameron Green and make him bat at number four in the playing eleven.

“Steve Smith will be opening the batting and Cameron Green will be coming into the No 4 position which is fantastic. We have selected a team we believe contains the best six batters in the country. For all intents and purposes, this is where Steve wants to stay,” said Bailey to reporters after the 13-member Australia Test squad was unveiled on Wednesday.

He further said Smith himself was motivated to make the move for opening the batting in Tests post-David Warner’s retirement from the format, apart from giving the team chance to get Green into the playing eleven. Green had lost his place in the Test team to Mitchell Marsh during last year’s Ashes series in England.

“One of the things I’m really excited about the change is that I think he’s really motivated and energised and excited about the opportunity, and fingers crossed that can provide some longevity in the format.”

“For someone who has achieved as much as he has over such a long period across all formats, it’s a challenge or an itch he’d like to scratch and ultimately for us, as a team, it’s something that fits.”

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