Warner may open way for Ponting exit
Melbourne, Nov 27: Countless crazy things have happened in cricket this year, but this could be the most bizarre of the lot ... David Warner could end Ricky Ponting's Test career.
If you had said that a year ago you would have been shipped off to a padded cell under instructions not to be let loose until you started making predictions which have at least one chance in a thousand of coming off.
Warner, the haymaker who considered leaving NSW last year because he could not get a four-day game for the Blues, is putting indirect but firm pressure on Australia's best batsman since Bradman.
Talk about a clash of eras. It would be a bit like Mozart being squeezed off stage by Kings of Leon. Warner is in the Test team to play New Zealand and if he fires as an opener then Australia is likely to reshape the top order around him.
That is likely to put the squeeze on Ponting when injured Shane Watson returns, probably for the first Test against India in Melbourne from Boxing Day.
Chairman of selectors John Inverarity confirmed on Saturday night that if Warner shone as an opener the panel would debate whether the time had come to move Watson down the order, which seems inevitable and common sense. But who goes?
Usman Khawaja looks like a player just about ready to spread his wings at Test level.
He should be inked in at least for the opening Tests against India, no matter what he does against NZ.
Mike Hussey failed against South Africa but was brilliant against Sri Lanka. He hasn't got a bottomless pit of credits, but he has some.
So Ponting, after a rugged year and with his 37th birthday close, is fighting for his career against NZ, no matter how he performs.
It took Cricket Australia just five minutes last week to snuff out a rumour that Ponting planned to pull up stumps after the second Test in Hobart. Like so many rumours, it was total fiction.
The only other thing to say about it was it was the most sensible suggestion you have ever heard.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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