In recent years, the opening partnership in the Australian Test team has been far from stable.
With Marcus Harris set to make his Test debut against India, he will become the eighth player to open for Australia in 2018.
There has been no real stability at the top of the order and this has been exacerbated following the suspension of David Warner.
The strange part is that there is no shortage of options to fill the two positions, but no one has made the place their own.
So, let’s look at the candidates, what they offer and whether they are the answer to the nation’s problems and then you can decide who the best options are.
Aaron Finch (Victoria)
It makes sense to start with the man who has retained his place at the top following a promising debut series against Pakistan.
Finch scored 181 runs in the two Test series including 62 in his opening innings. Already well renowned in the ODI and T20 formats, Finch has brought a more conservative approach to the longer form of the game.
Despite this, he has still showcased his wide range of attacking strokes and looked at home on the tough pitches of the UAE.
Barring a massive drop in form, Finch should remain in the side for at least the India series.
Marcus Harris (Victoria)
Harris is this summer’s Test bolter.
A phenomenal start in the Sheffield Shield put him in the Test discussion, but a score of 250* against New South Wales made him impossible to ignore.
Harris is classy player capable of scoring runs at a canter or holding an innings together.
His 250* in the shield came at a strike rate of 62, showing his ability to score consistently and not get bogged down.
The hope will be that he can be an opener for Australia well into the future, but time will tell whether he can make the jump.
Matt Renshaw (Queensland)
The man currently competing with Glenn Maxwell for the unluckiest cricketer in the country.
Renshaw looked to have nailed his place down in the side after being brought in against South Africa in 2016.
A well-constructed 184 against Pakistan had the world thinking that a new star had arrived.
A strong series in India backed this theory up, but due to a lack of runs in the Shield, he was harshly dropped for the Ashes in 2017.
Renshaw found form at the start of 2018 and was called up for the Test following the ball-tampering scandal.
While his talent has never been in question, Renshaw has been described as an old-fashioned batsman, taking his time to build an innings.
It seems a matter of when not if Renshaw will be recalled and in five years’ time it is likely that he will be a cornerstone of the Australian line-up.
Joe Burns (Queensland)
Burns has done well when called upon in the Test team, averaging 36 in his 14 Tests.
It’s inconsistency that has restricted his time in the side.
He was recalled following the ball tampering scandal but failed to capitalise.
Burns is a batsman capable of slowing the innings down or taking the attack to the bowlers.
The three Test centuries he has to his name have all been ‘textbook’ Test innings.
He has returned to the Shield and is yet to register a century this season.
While he may be down the pecking order right now, Burns is always one or two strong innings away from being in the Test discussion.
Alex Doolan (Tasmania)
It would be easy to say that Doolan’s Test career is over.
The Tasmanian played four Tests back in 2014 but didn’t make an impact.
However, his Shield form over the last two years has been incredible.
Already with four 50s and a century this season, Doolan is in the form of his life and will be looking at the likes of Chris Rogers as a sign that a test recall could be around the corner.
With the current talent pool, a recall is unlikely, but if he continues to perform as he has been then it will be tough to ignore him.
Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
While Khawaja has made the number three spot his own for the last three years, a number of his best innings have come at the top of the order.
Scores of 141 against Pakistan and 145 against South Africa are amongst the Queenslander’s best and both came when he opened.
The obvious choice is to leave Khawaja at number three and hope that others can fill the spots at the top.
While Khawaja isn’t the future of Australian openers, given his success in the role, he will always be handy to have around should the need arise for a different option.
Cameron Bancroft (Western Australia)
Bancroft was largely unimpressive during his time in the team.
He looked solid but failed to turn many of his starts into big scores.
His ban from the ball tampering scandal is due to finish in the new year and he will likely walk straight into the WA team.
Whether he ever makes it back to the international level remains to seen, but he undoubtedly has the talent to do so.
He will be looking to put the past behind him and rebuild his career, with that rebuild hopefully culminating with a Test recall.
David Warner (New South Wales)
For the next few years Warner will always be the elephant in the room when it comes to the Australian team.
Yes, he is more than good enough to be in the team, but do we want him there?
Are we willing to put up with the baggage and controversy that comes with him?
If we are trying to be a new type of Australian cricket team then the answer is no.
The permanent ban on him as a leader speaks for itself.
However, if winning Test matches is what we want then Warner is a proven match-winner, capable of turning a game in a single session.
There are very few in the history of cricket that can make that claim.
If we are to hold on to our new principles as a team then Warner has likely played his last game in a Baggy Green.
But there will always be talk surrounding him regardless of if he is in the side.