Washington: Australia coach Mickey Arthur has said that there is a chance that suspended opener David Warner can bat down the order at No.6 during the Ashes, if he is added into the line-up for the first Test at Trent Bridge on July 10.
With five openers picked in the Australia squad, a move to No.6 was always an option and Warner`s recent run of trouble on and off the field has only strengthened that theory.
Warner has just one half century from his past 10 innings, dating back to the start of the Indian Premier League, and his suspension for a late-night punch on England batsman Joe Root means that if selected he will go into the first Test without a game of cricket under his belt in over a month.
However, Arthur, who along with captain Michael Clarke and national selector John Inverarity have made it clear that Warner is still under consideration for the first Test, said that moving Warner, who has only ever opened in Tests, down the order was a possibility.
Stating that Warner will be available for selection, Arthur further said that the batsman will be getting the as close to the best preparation he can have without playing a game, while hinting that there may just be one position still up for grabs in the Ashes squad.
Although Warner has always maintained his desire to remain an opener, it added that adjusting to a new role where he is kept away from the swinging new ball at No.6 shapes as his best chance at holding his place in the team.
Stating that Warner would be up to the challenge of batting down the order, teammate Matthew Wade, who has transferred regularly from opening to lower-order batting at one-day level, said that the benefit for Warner is that is if he does go down the order, there will be a second new ball in Test cricket.
According to Wade, given the possibility of Warner batting at No.6, the lower order would be strengthened by his and Brad Haddin`s batting.
Agreeing with Bailey, stand-in ODI captain George Bailey also said that Warner was capable of quickly improving his consistency and ability to see off the new ball.