'He'll Be The No. 1 Test Opener': Michael Clarke Backs Steve Smith To Take David Warner's Spot

'He'll Be The No. 1 Test Opener': Michael Clarke Backs Steve Smith To Take David Warner's Spot

Former Australia batter Callum Ferguson also believes that Smith could take up the challenge despite never opening in Test or first-class cricket.

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, January 09, 2024, 12:29 PM IST
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Steve Smith (L) with David Warner (R) | AFP PHOTO

Sydney:  Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believes Steve Smith can become the best Test opener if he is given the opportunity to replace David Warner.

With the new World Test Championship cycle already underway, the defending champions will need to find a quick replacement for their former star opening batter.

Clarke backed Smith to do the job and told ESPN's Around The Wicket show, "If he [Smith] wants to open the batting and they give him the chance, he'll be the No. 1 Test opener within 12 months. He's that good a player. If you can bat at three, you can bat anywhere in the order. Technically, he's good enough; he lets the ball go well, he's got a great eye, got beautiful hands." "Yes, he might nick the occasional one or might get LBW, but tell me someone who doesn't. So if he opens the batting, he'll be the best opener within 12 months. [And] don't be surprised if he breaks Brian Lara's 400 record because he's that good, and now he's got the whole day," Clarke added.

Warner's final dance in red-ball cricket was against Pakistan at his home ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), last week.

Clarke On Pat Cummins & Cameron Green

Clarke also went on to consider skipper Pat Cummins' remarks about the batting order being successful in their current positions. With that in mind, he backed young all-rounder Cameron Green to do the job in the opening slot.

"It sounds from what Patty says, he wants the least amount of disruptions as possible. Marnus has been brilliant; Smith's four; Travis Head five; Mitch Marsh six. So that tells me that Cameron Green at this stage is probably the likeliest to come in and opening the batting," Clarke said.

While Clarke believes Smith is one of the possible candidates to do the job for the country, former Australia batter Callum Ferguson also believes that Smith could take up the challenge despite never opening in Test or first-class cricket.

"I think he would prepare himself as well as anyone to open the batting if he decided he wanted to do that. I've always been in the camp that you need a specialist opening batter, but if it was Steve Smith coming to you and saying I want to open the batting, I think he's looking for a challenge, that next motivation and inspiration in his career, and honestly, if he took on that job, I think he'd do it better than anyone else," Callum said.

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