Andrew McDonald refused to guarantee David Warner selection for the fourth Ashes Test, admitting Mitch Marshs will force Leeds Century Australia to reconsider his side.
Australia face a challenge ahead of the next Test at Old Trafford on July 19 as Cameron Green is expected to be fit and ready to play again after suffering a hamstring strain.
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Playing in Green’s place at Headingley, Marsh scored the game’s only Century with a run-a-ball 118 in his first Test in almost four years.
Officials are well aware that this has made the West Australian almost unbeatable, which in turn is increasing the pressure on Warner to retain his place.
After announcing last month that he wanted to retire from Test cricket in January, Warner always knew only runs for points would prevent his early exit.
The question of whether Warner will make it that far is now a matter of choice after the opening score of four and one at Headingley brought his half-century series average to 23.5 at Lord’s.
An option for Australia would be to open with either Green or Marsh so both can play in the same eleven, while Travis Head or Marnus Labuschagne would be other options to move up.
When asked directly whether Warner’s spot would be reconsidered for the next Test, coach McDonald replied that it would.
“We have to consider everything that’s involved with Mitch Marsh coming in, the balance sheet and our all-rounders,” McDonald said.
“There will be an assessment of the players… We’re on a big break so you’d say most bowlers should be fit.
“We have an extra batsman who raises his hand and we have to consider the options.”
McDonald’s commented after captain Pat Cummins admitted on Sunday that Warner wasn’t sure he would keep his seat.
In 30 innings since the start of 2022 with Usman Khawaja, Warner has been the first man to be dismissed 22 times.
But McDonald, one of the three selectors, has still seen positives from this tour.
“You also have to think about what the opening partnership accomplished in the six innings, and there were three over-50 partnerships,” McDonald said.
“Although it hasn’t performed at its level (at Headingley), it’s done well in some ways in this series so far.
“We have a lot to think about and weigh up. Mitch Marsh undoubtedly asked us a question.”
McDonald hinted that it was unlikely Marsh would have a choice if the move did come, but acknowledged it would be difficult to leave the 31-year-old out.
“He made a pretty good case (for the pick), it’s pretty strong,” McDonald said.
“He did pretty well in the midfield.
“Showing him in English conditions would probably be something we haven’t talked about yet.
“But there’s still some time before the next test.”