Under pressure: White hopes to make No.3 his own

Cameron White is determined to make the crucial No.3 spot his own but admits he needs runs quickly when the one-day international series against England resumes on Friday.

White was a surprise call-up a fortnight ago when the squad was revealed, having believed his international days were over, and has played the past two matches.

He batted at No.7 in Brisbane, making an unbeaten 15 off 21 balls, but was elevated to No.3 in Sydney on Sunday but could make only 17 in another losing effort by the Australians.

Selection chairman Trevor Hohns said on Monday he wants skipper Steve Smith to settle at No.4, meaning the prized spot above him is there for the taking a year out from the World Cup defence.

White has briefly batted at No.3 before for Australia - in three matches in England in 2009 - and has happy memories in the role, crunching a century in Southampton and a half-century at The Oval.

"I think No.3 suits me, it's a good spot. And if that's the role I can do for the team, obviously, great. I have batted there for Australia before. I have made hundreds there before - batting at the top of the order for Victoria for the last few years as well," he said.

"I enjoy the ball coming on to the bat early. Adelaide - hopefully, if I get an opportunity - is as good a place as any to bat. It's my opportunity at the moment, I have to grab it. Hopefully, I get an opportunity on Friday and make some runs."

Hohns has also signalled Australia need power hitters in their top four, replicating an England side already setting the pace in terms of the five-match series here and what to expect at next year's showpiece event on their home soil.

White, who has not given any thought to the World Cup, has the game and temperament to deliver a similar style with attacking hitters David Warner and Aaron Finch above him in the order.

However, selectors believe Chris Lynn can also fill that the top-order slugger role but injuries have curtailed his past year. The Queenslander still looms as the long-term No.3, particularly if White cannot rubber-stamp his spot.

Australia's former Twenty20 skipper has spent the majority of his 90 ODI matches at No.5, averaging 37.7 (overall career average of 34.4), with the one century, but Australia hopes Mitch Marsh can control that all-rounder's role.

White was in a strategy meeting with the Melbourne Renegades when he was given the call-up by the selectors but there were no guarantees. He understands he needs runs soon to secure his spot.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind, obviously, a surprise at the time. It's taken a little while to settle in actually - [I am] a couple of games in now," he said.

"Hopefully - I am not stupid - I probably really need to make the most of my next opportunity, if I get one. That's where it is. The ball is in my court, I need to do something."

White, 34, admitted to feeling external pressure to succeed but said this does not play on his mind when batting.

"That's one thing I have said to a few people around the team - I don't want to put too much pressure on myself but it's hard not to," he said.

"I am pretty realistic - it's probably only going to be a short window to try and do something. It's hard not to put pressure on myself but I feel under pressure."

The ethos he will carry into the remaining ODI matches will be what has made him a stand-out performer for Victoria in recent seasons.

"It's a bit like I have played for Victoria over the last couple of years - just try and play every game like it's your last and try and make the most of it," he said.

White flew in to Melbourne on Monday just hours before he lined up for the Renegades in what was a 26-run loss to the Adelaide Strikers at Etihad Stadium.

He was offered the opportunity by the selectors and felt it best to have as much game time as possible. He made 17 in a defeat which leaves the Renegades fighting for a finals berth with two matches remaining, against the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday and the Heat in Brisbane on Saturday.

This story Under pressure: White hopes to make No.3 his own first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.