After the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, the next major project for both England and Australia is the Ashes 2021-22. Notably, England and Australia have qualified for the semi-finals of the multi-team tournament, and quite a few players from the respective teams will soon be seen in action in the red-ball series.
The first group of England team has reached Australia for the five-match Test series, which is set to begin from December 08. Ahead of the series opener, which the iconic Gabba will host in Brisbane, former Australian cricketer Kerry O’Keeffe has named his Aussie batting order.
O’Keeffe, who is a prominent broadcaster in Australian cricket, started by picking the openers for the first Test in the form of experienced campaigner David Warner and a rookie Jake Carder. The 25-year-old Carder is currently representing South Australia in the Sheffield Shield 2022-22.
Notably, Will Pucovski, who was supposed to open in the first Test, has been sidelined due to concussion. Victoria’s Marcus Harris and Queensland’s Usman Khawaja have surged into contention to open the batting.
When it comes to the remaining four batters, O’Keeffe went with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to strengthen the middle-order, while Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh to add some all-round options.
“If I was a selector and the first six in Brisbane, I’d go: David Warner, Jake Carder, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh,” said O’Keeffe at Fox Cricket’s World Cup Live.
“I think there’s more upside to Mitch Marsh, at 30, than there might be to Travis Head. And Jake Carder is an opener for Australia just waiting to be selected,” the 71-year-old added.
O’Keeffe reckoned Marsh would be a much ‘better bowling option’ as compared to Green, who couldn’t pick a single wicket in his debut Test series against India last year.
“Last year against India, Cameron Green didn’t get a wicket, so Tim Paine kept having to bring back the specialists. Mitch Marsh got seven wickets in his last Test two years ago – he gets people out in Test cricket,” O’Keeffe added further.