Australia opener David Warner will compete in the upcoming ODI series against India, having recovered from his elbow injury, coach Andrew McDonald confirmed on Tuesday.
Warner struggled in the two Tests he played against India, scoring 26 runs from his three innings before being substituted out of the second match in Delhi due to concussion.
He then returned home to recover from a hairline fracture in his elbow.
“He (Warner) is coming back (to India) for the one day series, he’s recovered from his injury,” Australia head coach Andrew McDonald said here.
McDonald said Warner is even in the frame for the World Test Championship final against Rohit Sharma’s men in London in June.
“At the moment Dave’s fully in our plans for the World Test Championship,” McDonald said of Warner, who has scored 8158 runs from 103 Tests at an average of 45.57.
The 36-year-old has also scored 6007 runs from 141 ODIs at an average of 45.16.
McDonald also confirmed that in-form opener Usman Khawaja, who made 180 in Australia’s first innings in the drawn fourth Test here, has been cleared of structural damage to his lower leg which he injured while fielding on the penultimate day on Sunday.
“The scans are pretty positive … so he gets some time to rest up now and look forward to the World Test Championship,” McDonald said of Khawaja.
“I’m sure there’ll be a bit of rehabilitation around that, but at this stage nothing structural or anything that will keep him out for long.” The WTC final at the Oval will be played just a few days after the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but McDonald said Australia will be prepared well.
“It will be squeezed, pretty much straight on the back of the IPL,” he said.
“We’ll head to England with plenty of time to prepare over there. We’ve got things that are almost in place for that – we’ll be well prepared.” Of the front-line bowlers Australia are likely to deploy in England for the WTC final and the Ashes that follow, only injured quick Josh Hazlewood (achilles soreness) and all-rounder Cameron Green are signed to take part in the IPL that begins on March 31.
Warner is the other probable member of Australia’s UK touring party who will also spend the coming months playing white-ball cricket in India.
“We are continually talking to our senior players with what they have coming up, juggling the schedule that’s in front of us.
“We are staring down 274 days on the road – 144 for the red-ball team, 130 for the white-ball team. So there’s going to be some give and take within that.” McDonald admitted that the defeat in the second Test in Delhi where Australia suffered a batting collapse, losing eight wickets for 28 runs in barely an hour, was the moment when hopes of a historic series win evaporated.
“It’s a proud group and they’ll see it as a missed opportunity. Not many teams come here and get the opportunity like what was presented in Delhi, and if it had been one-all (after Delhi) who knows how the series goes from there,” McDonald said.
“So there’s a lot of what-ifs around that (but) in the last two Tests we got some solid performances. We’re pretty proud of what the team’s been able to achieve, but in saying that we didn’t achieve what we wanted to here.
“We set that as three series in the subcontinent (and) we’ve come away with three wins, three losses and three draws. That’s a pretty tough WTC cycle, so to finish on top of the table with that on the calendar is pretty impressive and we’re the world number one too.”