Former test side selector Mark Waugh has served up the idea of ex-Australian captain Tim Paine starting at the crease in the first Test against India on Thursday.
Speaking on Fox Cricket, Waugh said that the Australian captain would be a perfect fit to face India’s deadly attack.
“I thought of a left-field suggestion just out the back before. I’m going with Tim Paine to open the batting.
“I’m going to have Wade and Green both make the side, Paine and (Harris) opening the batting.
“He’s opened in first-class cricket. Solid player.”
With Warner and Pucovski out with groin and concussion injuries respectively, Australian selectors have been left with a dwindling supply of options to choose from.
However, Waugh posited that a Paine/Harris opening partnership wasn’t the only option.
“The other choices, you’ve got Shaun Marsh, (Usman) Khawaja, Wade to open maybe as well.
“And you could push Labuschagne up to open.
“It’s only going to be a short-term fix.
“On this occasion, there’s just so many moving parts with injuries and players in and out of form, it’s a gamble whoever you go with.”
26-year-old Marnus Labuschagne could be the next best option for selectors, with the South-African born allrounder potentially being shifted up from third in the order.
Joe Burns would have been a name on the table, but his horrid form has meant that he has all but counted himself out of selection.
The top-order batsman has lost his way, with former Australian captain Mark Slater telling Wide World of Sports that Burns needs to take a step back.
“I was thinking back to the run of outs I had many years ago and trying to relate that to what Joe is going through. Everyone has it at some point of their career.
“The worry for Joe is that he’s now coming into a series with no form and no confidence. He’s just had two games against the Indians and made five runs.
“What he needs is a bit of a break, he doesn’t need to be going into a Test series against India.”
Former Test captain Allan Border too sympathised with Burns on Fox Cricket, recognising the sadness of the situation.
“He’s just shot,” he said.
“It’s a sad sight seeing a bloke really struggling to just find any sort of form.
“My gut feel (on picking Burns) is just no. He has been given these little windows of opportunity because of injury, concussion, circumstances with other guys without nailing down a spot.
“If he had just shown something, even if he had 20-odd today and batted OK and got a good ball to get out – you might think: ‘OK, we’ll stick with the incumbent’.”
Young gun Cameron Green’s fitness will be touch and go as he recovers from a head injury, and could be selected as the opener in Adelaide in what would be a major surprise.