Smith and Green’s batting positions are ‘a perfect scenario’, claims Marnus Labuschagne

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Labuschagne was speaking in Brisbane, ahead of playing for Heat in Wednesday night’s BBL clash with Perth Scorchers. He addressed questions on the make-up of the batting order ahead of Wednesday’s naming of the squad to play the first Test in Adelaide. In the aftermath of David Warner’s retirement, Smith has expressed a desire to move from No. 4 to open. Green’s favourite position is No. 4. “If Steve does get the nod [to open], I have no doubt that he will do a good job,” Labuschagne said. “Cameron Green’s record at No. 4 for Western Australia is amazing. “Obviously that is not a direct correlation to Test cricket, but you can be pretty confident that over a period of time he is going to be a very good player in that position. “[Smith] is excited for a new challenge. If that motivates him and gets the cricket world Steven Smith for another two or three years, I think that is a massive win. “It looks like the perfect scenario. When he was captain I know he liked a little more time between being in the field and going out there, but he is ready to get out there from the start now.” He said the key to the potential batting-order change, aside from the class of both batters, was that both players desired it. “I have no doubt that if Cam had to slot into the No.1 spot that he would be able to do that as well and that he would be able to bat wherever the team needs, but it seems in this case that Steve really wants that opportunity to bat at the top,” Labuschagne said. “If they do end up going that way it looks like the perfect swap.” He said Green had all the attributes to succeed at No. 4 at Test level. “He has got a really nice even temperament, a great ability to absorb pressure, is a very good decision-maker, has got a sound technique and a great defence,” Labuschagne said. “I think that is the versatility you need at No. 4, someone that can play different scenarios and know when to push the button and when to hold back. “We have seen him do well in the IPL, so we know he has got that [attacking] button. We have seen him playing in England [against] extensive periods of short ball bowling and managing that.” He said that if Australia decided to open with Smith and bat Green at No. 4, it was not a slight on the efforts of current regular red-ball openers Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw. Labuschagne said it would be a reflection that selectors wanted to get the best six batters in the country in the Test team. “Cameron Green also averages 50-plus in Shield cricket, and there are not many guys doing that,” he said.

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