Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Australia’s Warner to test hurt thumb at Sheffield Shield

Reuters, MELBOURNE, Australia

Australia opening batsman David Warner this week is to test out his thumb in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition ahead of the opening Test against New Zealand.

Warner broke his thumb on tour in England and after a long stint on the sidelines is to finally get to shake off some rust for New South Wales against South Australia in the competition, which starts today.

Warner said the thumb was still ginger and likely to be for the rest of his career, having previously suffered a few knocks on it at the crease.

“I think I got hit against India in Brisbane on the same thumb last season as well, and the pain is always going to be there,” Warner told reporters in Sydney.

“It is about me getting through that pain. You speak to any wicketkeeper in the world — they are playing with broken fingers, so I am not complaining at all,” Warner said. “Unless I cop another one on the thumb while I am practicing or batting out in the middle, that is the only thing that will hinder my selection for the first Test.”

“Two weeks ago, the doctor said to me: ‘Come three or four days before the first Test, it should be completely healing,’” Warner added.

Warner is to be new captain Steven Smith’s deputy in the three-Test series against New Zealand, which starts in Brisbane on Thursday next week.

He is also to be one of the few experienced batsmen left in the Test team after the retirements of fellow opener Chris Rogers, former skipper Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson.

Their replacements are yet to be bedded down, with Joe Burns, youngster Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja among the candidates vying for a top-order spot.

Warner would not be drawn on his preferred opening partner, but his former teammate Rogers anointed Burns, who played two Tests against India during the last home summer, as his preferred successor.

“Joe has been around for a little while and Cameron has had one good season,” Rogers told state radio. “I’d like him to start off the season and do well again and then show it is not just a one-off.”

“Burns played in the Test summer last year, was unlucky not to get into that Ashes squad, and now there is another chance for him to come back in,” Rogers said. “For me, there is a pecking order, and he’s the next one.”

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