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Australia hope for Warner’s recovery ahead of Afghanistan clash

David Warner

Warner, who is understood to have pulled out midway from the team’s training session in Bristol with complaints of a stiff glute muscle on the right leg, is uncertain for his team’s opening game against Afghanistan. The left handed opener will have to pass the fitness test on Friday which will determine his availability for Saturday’s fixture. Head coach, Justin Langer is expecting a quick confirmation on his fitness status.

David Warner's last ODI appearance came in January 2018 against England

David Warner’s last ODI appearance came in January 2018 against England

“We’ll have a pretty good idea today, how he moves and how he pulls up in the morning,” Langer told cricket.com.au. “But what I have expressed to him is it’s really important to be fair to the other players, we don’t want to be getting to Saturday morning and making a call, when a couple of other guys are wondering if they are going to play or not going to play.”

“He (Warner) is obviously desperate to play. Like all 15 players would, he is jumping out of his skin, his energy is up and he’s laughing a lot, which is a really good sign. But we’ve just got to make sure he can move, particularly in the field. Batting seems okay, running in a straight line seems okay, but going side to side – we’ve just got to make sure we don’t aggravate it,” he added.

Warner’s inclusion in the final eleven would leave room for only one of Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh against Afghanistan. While Usman Khawaja is currently the leading run scorer in ODIs in 2019 and scored 89 in the second warm-up game against Sri Lanka, Marsh failed to convert his starts in both warm-ups, but is known for his skills against spin bowling. Langer said that he hadn’t expect such selection dilemmas at such an early stage of the tournament.

Warner topped the run-scoring charts in the recently concluded Indian Premier League with 692 runs and scored 43 in the warm-up match against hosts England last week. The New South Wales batsman had scored a stroke-filled 178 against Afghanistan in the last edition of the flagship tournament and will be eager to repeat his heroics against the same opposition on Saturday.

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