Former Australian selector Jamie Cox has expressed surprise and criticism after current player David Warner suggested Marcus Harris as his potential replacement for the Test opener role. Warner, who is set to conclude his illustrious Test career at the SCG in two weeks, made the remarks following his dismissal for 38 during the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Melbourne, where Australia reached 3-187.
Harris, who recently scored a century against Pakistan in a trial game, is seen as one of the leading candidates to fill Warner’s shoes alongside former Test openers Cameron Bancroft and Matthew Renshaw. All-rounder Cameron Green is also being considered by the selectors to potentially reshuffle the batting order.
Despite acknowledging the selectors’ final decision, Warner voiced his support for Harris, highlighting his hard work and consistent performance in the background. Warner’s endorsement of Harris’s suitability for the role drew Cox’s ire, with Cox taking to Twitter to express his astonishment, stating, “Well bugger me – another modern first! I have never heard of a current player anointing their successor.”
“I have never heard of a current player anointing their successor. What’s wrong with ‘that’s a question for George Bailey not me’? I need a lie down…!”
In response to Warner’s comments, Cox questioned why a current player was involving himself in the selection process, suggesting that such matters should be left to the selectors. Warner, in his defense, emphasized the importance of an aggressive playing style for the team’s long-term success, citing Harris’s ability to score rapidly and play attacking shots.
Warner also advised the selectors to keep an eye on emerging talent in the Big Bash League, drawing parallels to his own early selection for Australia’s T20 side despite limited first-class experience. He stressed the significance of entertaining the fans and expressed hope that future talents would be given the same opportunity to prove themselves.
Meanwhile, Warner praised his opening partner Usman Khawaja for his on-field performance and his stance on recent controversies with the ICC. Khawaja has been embroiled in disputes with the ICC over displaying messages on his gear, with Warner commending his teammate for standing up for his beliefs and maintaining his focus on the game.
“I just think that’s always been him. Uzi has always been the type of person who is always saying how it is,” Warner said.
“Uzzie has always been a leader around the group, even in New South Wales when we were young. He was always that guy who was always putting his hand up to help, especially with his community stuff. The community stuff is outstanding.
“The work that goes on behind the scenes that he does for his community and his foundation is outstanding. And that is the person he is. He has got a lot of respect from a lot of people.”
As the debate over Warner’s successor continues, the Australian selectors face the challenging task of finding the right candidate to fill the shoes of one of the country’s most prolific Test openers.