Australia batter David Warner has embraced the idea of his Test career being ended before the Ashes, deciding to continue purely as a white ball player if he receives the call to be informed of his long-form time is done.
The experienced opener returned to Sydney on Thursday after his tour of India was cut short due to an elbow injury.
After being hit by Mohammed Siraj during the first innings of the second Test in Delhi, Warner suffered a hairline fracture in his left elbow. He was hit on the helmet two overs later, experiencing delayed concussion symptoms, and was substituted out of the Test match.
Despite scoring just one Test century in the previous three years, the 36-year-old feels he is the fine batter to open the batting in this year’s Ashes tour.
“I’ve always said I’m playing to 2024; if the selectors feel that I’m not worthy of my spot, then so be it, and I can push on to the white-ball stuff. I’ve got the next 12 months, a lot of cricket’s ahead for the team and if I can keep scoring runs and putting my best foot forward for the team and I can help my spot, it’d be great for the team.
It’s easy pickings (for critics) when you’re 36 going on 37. I’ve seen it before with the ex-players as well. So for me if I’m taking pressure off the rest of the other guys, and no one’s worrying about the rest of the team, I’m happy to do that,” Warner told reporters at Sydney Airport as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald.
When asked if Warner was still in Australia’s plans for the five-Test series against England in June, selector Tony Dodemaide was hesitant to commit to the aggressive left-hander.
“We’re worried about what we can get out of these remaining two Tests (in India), obviously that’s a clear focus for us at the moment. We’ll address the Ashes planning (at a later time), but we are committed to picking the best fit and available players for Test series, particularly something as big as the Ashes. That’s not a question that we’ve addressed so far.
We are very keen, as everyone I’m sure at home would be, for us to get something out of this remaining series,” said the Australia batter.
Warner, along with bowling allrounder Ashton Agar, has left the troublesome trip, with Australia behind 0-2 and their chances of recovering the Border-Gavaskar Trophy already ended.
Australia is already without the services of Josh Hazlewood due to a persistent Achilles injury while Mitchell Starc is expected to play in Indore after having recovered from his finger injury.
India will play Australia in Indore for the third Test that starts on March 1 while the fourth Test will be played in Ahmedabad from March 9.