Australia captain Steve Smith, new test opener after David Warner’s exit

Steve Smith. Photo courtesy: X/@ICC

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IBNS: Former Australia captain Steve Smith will open the innings for his team in Tests, filling the boots of David Warner, who has retired from international cricket.

Smith’s new role in the team has been announced by Australia cricket team Chair of Selectors George Bailey, who has announced the 13-member squad for the West Indies series beginning on January  17.

“I believe he’s (Smith) keen for this to be a significant chapter of his career,” Bailey said and added, “We don’t look too far ahead… (but) for all intents and purposes this is where Steve wants to stay.”

“It’s selfless that someone who has had so much success in one position or a couple of positions in the middle order is open and willing and hungry to have a crack at something new and something different,” the chief selector added.

Smith will join Usman 

Earlier, Smith, a hugely successful player of Australia, had expressed his keenness to embrace the new role.

Photo courtesy: Facebook/ICCPhoto courtesy: Facebook/ICC

“I’m actually happy to go up the top,” Smith, who will now join Usman Khawaja at the top in the batting order, said.

“I’m pretty keen to open in Tests if that’s what they want to do. I’m sure the selectors and Ron Andrew McDonald and Patty (Pat Cummins) will have a chat after this game but yeah, I’m certainly interested for sure,” he said.

Smith, 34, has played in all slots from number three to nine but has never opened the innings in Test cricket.

His batting average is highest at number three (67.07) followed by four (61.5), seventh (60.5) and fifth (57.18).