Warner still in Australia’s plans for WTC final against India

BENGALURU (Reuters): David Warner is still in Australia’s plans for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India in June after the batsman recovered from concussion and an elbow injury, coach Andrew McDonald said.

Warner flew back to Australia from India last month after suffering a fractured elbow and a head injury in the second test of the four-match series, which the hosts won 2-1.

Apart from a defiant 200 against South Africa in December, the 36-year-old has struggled in recent tests and there has been speculation in Australian media that he might retire after the WTC final, which starts on June 7 at The Oval.

“I think you work through that conversation, and how each player finishes is always different,” McDonald said of Warner. “Some want to go out in a certain way, and others are OK with potentially being dropped out of sides.

“But at the moment Dave’s fully in our plans for the WTC final, he’s coming back for the one-day series (against India), he’s recovered from his injury, so we’ll see Dave back in Australian colours on March 17 and we’ll go from there.”

McDonald said team management were continually talking to senior players about their plans.

“Juggling the schedule that’s in front of us, we’re staring down 274 days on the road – 144 for the red-ball team, 130 for the white-ball team,” McDonald said.

“There’s going to be some give and take within that. We have great depth, got coverage in all areas and we are always talking to our seniors players with where they’re at in regards to their careers.”

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Steve Smith will captain Australia in the three-match ODI series against India beginning on Friday.

Smith stepped into the role during the test series after regular skipper Pat Cummins returned home to be with his ailing mother, who died last week.