MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cameron Green has been elevated to Australia’s test XI after selectors opted not to pick a specialist opener to replace the retired David Warner for the series-opening match against West Indies.
Cricket Australia released the 13-player squad Wednesday, without releasing a batting order but confirming allrounder Green would start. Matt Renshaw, who has opened for Australia, was added to the squad with fast bowler Scott Boland as cover.
Speculation has increased that Steve Smith could be elevated to open with Usman Khawaja, with Green inserted in the middle order.
The first test against West Indies starts January 17 in Adelaide. The second match will be a day-nighter in Brisbane.
“We have selected a team we believe contains the best six batters in the country,” Australia’s chief selector George Bailey said.
Warner played the last of his 112 test matches in the third test of a 3-0 sweep against Pakistan in Sydney last week.
Renshaw, Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft were all considered options to fill the vacant spot at the top of the innings.
Bancroft, who is among the leading scorers in the domestic first-class competition, urged selectors to go with a specialist opener.
Green, a tall fast bowler, agile fielder and technically solid batter, made his debut as an allrounder but lost his spot to Mitch Marsh during the Ashes series in England last year.
Australia’s test squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.