When will Warner and Khawaja call the clock, and why does it matter?

All careers end at some point. Some players are eliminated and never had another chance. Others retire on their own terms with a track record they can be proud of.

As Australian Test holders David Warner and Usman Khawaja are both 35, one would expect one of them to close the book on more than a decade of international cricket at any given time, both having represented Australia in all three formats. But there’s a simple reason why they wouldn’t: they still score points.

Warner is currently enjoying his time in India, having scored three consecutive Indian Premier League half-centuries, while Khawaja’s Test performance this year has been second to none, scoring four centuries in nine innings and hitting 90 on two other occasions .

Would it make sense for them to walk away now, knowing they have more to give?

Of course, there are examples of great careers dragging on for far too long, but in this case Team Australia have a lot to prove over the next 18 months, and the veteran pair would no doubt love to be a part of it.

Warner has already declared its intention to be part of the Ashes 2023 series in England, as well as the 2023 World Cup in India. He also cited beating India in India as an aspiration, which he will have the chance to achieve later this year in a four-Test series.

Khawaja, on the other hand, has been rather flippant about his cricketing future, conveying the idea that he doesn’t care in interviews, while showing an obvious thirst for exhaustion in the middle.

Should the two openers call the hour tomorrow, a place in the Test squad would likely go to Marcus Harris, the team’s only reserve opener for Australia’s recent tour of Pakistan, by default, despite his modest returns in the league. arena of testing.

Marcus Harris (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

And there is already a good list of contenders for the other place, the favorite of which would be Bryce Street, who showed his prowess with a century against the Lions of England in December. Selectors could also look to previously tried openers Cameron Bancroft and Matt Renshaw, or Henry Hunt and Sam Whiteman, who have previously won Australia A caps.

But this is all hypothetical. Unless injury plays a role, it will likely be at least a year before any of these players are sniffed out. And timing will be crucial in deciding who gets called up.

By the end of the 2023 Ashes, Bancroft, Harris and Whiteman will all be in their 30s, which might make them less desirable than younger guys like Hunt, Renshaw and Street as long-term options. But as Khawaja showed when he returned to the team, age doesn’t matter if you can prove beyond doubt that you’re the best option.

Whiteman could start the 2023-24 Sheffield Shield season with consecutive centuries. Will Pucovski could enjoy a year without injury or concussion. Tim Ward, recently named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, could edge out other contenders in racking up runs, provided he has enough time to prove himself before the need for a new fly-half comes true.

It’s possible Australia’s next opener has yet to play top-class cricket.

Of course, it’s possible that Warner or Khawaja could find themselves dropped to unprecedented heights if they underperform in future tests. But Khawaja is in the shape of his life, and Warner’s pedigree has seen him tolerated through several lean form patches; although their age may be a factor in less patience for the veteran pair.

While an immediate opening at the top of the order would be ideal for some, others might benefit from the passage of time.

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