Australia opener David Warner has been declared fit by head coach Justin Langer on Tuesday and is a certain starter for their Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.
During a training session on Monday, Warner was hit on his left thumb while taking throwdowns from batting coach Graeme Hick. He looked in considerable pain and required immediate treatment.
On Tuesday, he trained with his thumb bandaged. “He is fine, he got a little clip yesterday. We have a big picture of Albert Jacka in our changeroom – so Davey will be fine. He can’t wait to go,” Langer said. “There was a little concern for about two seconds. Then he saw the doctor. He is hitting balls again. We know how well he is playing at the moment. We know how much all the boys love playing Test cricket, Boxing Day cricket, we also know the story of Albert Jacka, so he will be ready to go.”
However, whole taking the throwdowns Warner reportedly took off his left arm quickly after playing a shot.
“It’s not unusual for Davey to do that,” Langer explained. “He’s in really good nick, he’s a very experienced player now, he knows how to prepare. As I said, I’ve got absolutely no worries that he’ll be raring to go.”
Australia are set to ring in one change to their playing XI with fast bowler James Pattinson replacing injured Josh Hazlewood. There’s another potential change in Michael Neser who could replace Matthew Wade or Travis Head provided the Melbourne pitch is flat. “The only reason we would do it is if the wicket looks like anything it has in the last few years on the Boxing Day Test match,” he said. “You have to get 20 wickets. On really, really flat wickets, it would be no surprise to anyone. The Australian cricket team doesn’t usually go down that path of having the extra bowler but if we were to play on wickets that we have played on in the last two years or so here at the MCG, we certainly have to find a way of taking 20 wickets.”