How’s this for openers? Middle-order trio knock back chance to take on Warner replacement role

Australia’s plan to look at promoting a batter up the order to replace David Warner is looking shaky with nobody keen to make the move.

Usman Khawaja said Marnus Labuschagne was dead against it, Travis Head has been reassured that he won’t be shifted to opener again and Mitchell Marsh does not want the gig even though captain Pat Cummins floated his name as a possibility. 

Marsh joked on The Unplayable podcast that if coach Andrew McDonald “is OK for me to try and get 150 before lunch on day one, I’ll put my hand up”.

“There’s obviously been a little bit of chat about it and that’s all well and good. But I just got back into the team.

Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head

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“I am thoroughly enjoying my role at No.6 and that’s really all I’ll focus on. I’m happy for people to talk about it, but I don’t like being a part of the conversation because ultimately my job is to bat No.6 (against Pakistan in Perth), and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Head has spoken to the Aussie brains trust to make sure he won’t be thrust into the role on a permanent basis after filling in when Warner went home with a broken arm during the tour to India earlier this year.

“The conversations I’ve had are that it won’t happen,” he said.

“I won’t be in that spot, they’re happy with me in the middle order. I think it is a specialist job, and the guys who have been waiting to get in the team for a while deserve first crack at it.

“But the conversations are ongoing with everyone. The only one with me is the conversation around the sub-continent, but when you’ve got someone who’s locked in and doing well you also don’t want to change that.

“So I don’t see myself moving around too much in the future.”

Labuschagne has never opened at Test level after starting out in the role with Queensland nearly a decade ago before shifting down the order to eventually become a mainstay of the national team.

Marsh is determined to cement the all-rounder’s role as his own after getting the nod ahead of Cameron Green following his career resurgence at the Ashes.

He was also a key part of the World Cup win in India and after partying hard following the final victory over the host nation, Marsh joked that he pushed the envelope with his celebrations before McDonald told him to get back in the nets to prepare for the Pakistan series.

“I basically carried on the celebrations myself at Rottnest,” he said. “I had the medal around my neck for the whole day, which I kind of thought may have been entering ‘flog territory’. 

“If it wasn’t a World Cup, then probably but everyone seemed to get around it. We had other people driving past on boats, yelling out. I certainly felt the love. I was swimming with it on.

“There’s a bit of Pete Murray about it (the medal). It’s seen better days, but it’s all part of the story.”

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