Steve Smith's stuttering outings as opener have come under scrutiny, but Australia coach Andrew McDonald hinted that the prolific batter is set to continue in his role at least until the home series against India later this year. India will visit Australia between November this year and January, 2025, to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which they have retained in 2018-19 and 2020-21. NZ vs AUS 2nd Test 2024: ‘Story of This Series Was To See Someone Standing Up To Be a Match-Winner’ Says Pat Cummins.

"They await (challenges against India), and I think it will be an internal motivator for him. He wants to open, it's a position that he came to us around and we think he can make it work," McDonald told

Smith was moved up to the pole position from the series against West Indies in January this year after David Warner retired from Tests after the home rubber against Pakistan. But his raw numbers remained modest since that promotion up the order. The 34-year-old has managed just one fifty, an unbeaten 91 against Windies at Brisbane, while making scores of 12, 11, 6, 31, 0, 11 and 9 in the rest of the innings. However, McDonald did not read too much into the stats.

"He'll be able to work through that, it's a new challenge for him, it's a new position. If you're bringing in a new opener and you gave them four Test matches, and then said 'okay; we're going to shift that after four Test matches' would you think that's fair or unfair? I think that's reasonably unfair," said the South Australian.

The former Australian all-rounder said it will take some special efforts by any player to bring in changes to the current order of the line-up. NZ vs AUS 2nd Test 2024: Tim Southee Admits Uncertainty Over Being New Zealand’s Test Captain on Subcontinent Tours After 2–0 Loss to Australia.

"That's not to say there won't be changes, but at the moment we've won two-nil here (against New Zealand), and had a 12-Test run where we won eight with (four) of those being away (in England and NZ)," McDonald said.

"It's going to be a hard group to infiltrate, it will take something special I think," he signed off.

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