Chappell: Smith at four is ‘ridiculous’

Former Australia batsman Ian Chappell has reacted with horror to the news that Steve Smith will bat at four in the Tests against new Zealand, saying 'lesser players' should not be allowed to bat at three.

Chappell wants Smith at first drop as he's Australia's best batsman, and sees no logic in Joe Burns, Shaun Marsh, or Usman Khawaja being put in ahead of the skipper.

Incidentally, former Oz batsman Mike Hussey agrees with Chappell, while former skipper Ricky Ponting likes the stability of Smith coming in at four.

Chappell told AAP: "After the conversation I had with (Smith) the other day I suspect he will bat at four which I think will be a mistake. 

"It's ridiculous. He's playing well. Why move? Why put a lesser player ahead of him? 

"I didn't want lesser players batting ahead of me unless they were openers."

'Chappelli' was also not over the moon about Western Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft opening the batting against New Zealand, as he's set to do, saying he was not yet convinced the youngster deserved it.

He added: "Looks like Bancroft will get the first crack at it (opening alongside David Warner). 

"I am not convinced yet. I saw him against Mitchell Starc (in a one-day match) the other day and he struggled. 

"Mind you everyone is struggling against Starc these days. But I need some convincing yet."