Andrew McDonald affirms under-fire David Warner central to Ashes plans

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has thrown his weight behind David Warner, affirming that the under-fire batter remains in Australis’ plans for the forthcoming Ashes series. The 36-year-old has hit a rough patch in the longest format of the game, managing a single 50-plus score in his last 15 trips to the crease, which he went on to convert into a double century at the last Boxing Day Test against South Africa. 

He was substituted out of his last red-ball outing after suffering concussion and elbow injuries in quick succession against India in Delhi in February. Warner has, however, been amongst the runs in Indian Premier League 2023. Followers of the lucrative league must check out bet365 IPL Bonus. He averages 37 opening the innings for Delhi Capitals, who failed to click in unison to be knocked out of the ongoing edition. The franchise was the first to be eliminated, having rued the services of Rishabh Pant who was severely injured in a near-fatal car crash.

Warner was named in the squads for both the one-off World Test Championship final as well as the Ashes series against England that follows but chief selector George Bailey was loath to rubberstamp the southpaw’s first-choice status in the latter of the two assignments in the United Kingdom given it is the initiation of a new cycle for the team. Bailey and his panel did pick Marcus Harris as a reserve opener with Matt Renshaw another contender to join forces with Usman Khawaja at the top of the order.

McDonald though has opted to downplay those options for the time being, emphasizing that Warner remained a big part of the team’s plans in their bid to retain the urn. The head coach has given a strong signal that Warner could well face the new ball for the Ashes series opener at Edgbaston next month, beginning only days after the World Test Championship final against India.

“We’re optimistic with what Dave’s got left, we picked him in the squad and we feel he’s going to play a really significant part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship final,” McDonald told SEN. 

“He’s an important part of that squad. And if he wasn’t, then we would have had a clear checkpoint (to pick a new squad) after the World Test Championship. That’s not the case… He’s clearly in our plans, and he’s ready to go. We’re in constant contact with him. He knows exactly where he sits with us. That’s why he’s on the plane. We think he’s got some good games left in him.”

McDonald highlighted the experienced campaigner has a proven track record of scoring runs in the UK. Much of the negative chatter surrounding Warner hinges on his struggles in 2019 when Stuart Broad had him on toast. Albeit, his returns on Australia’s previous Ashes tour were far more fruitful, as he notched up half-centuries in all five Tests in 2015 to aggregate 418 runs at 46.44. The left-hander also saw off the new ball adroitly in that campaign, facing less than 42 balls just twice in nine innings. 


Broadcast Schedule

England v Ireland ODI series
ENG v IRE 2nd ODI, Trent Bridge
23rd September
Start time: 11:00 am BST
ENG v IRE 3rd ODI, County Ground, Bristol
26th September
Start time: 12:30 pm BST