Australia v Sri Lanka: David Warner declared ‘ready to go’ for first Test

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

A refreshed David Warner has declared his injured finger has healed and he is “ready to go” in Tuesday’s first Test against Sri Lanka.
Nanjing Night Net

Warner skipped an intra-team hit-out and the official warm-up clash against a Sri Lankan Board XI because of the broken left index finger he suffered in the Caribbean in June.

Having used only his right hand when practising in the nets soon after arriving in Sri Lanka, the Australian vice-captain is now batting normally, albeit with a protective guard over the finger.

He also continues to manage a sore left thumb, having had that broken by England’s Steven Finn last year, which forced him out of what ultimately was an abandoned tour of Bangladesh and left him in doubt for the start of the Australian summer. But he returned in time to face the touring Black Caps, and plundered 163 and 116 in the series opener at the Gabba.

The dynamic left-hander, averaging 50.06 in 51 Tests, hopes this latest injury experience returns similar results, when the three-Test series opens in the central providence city of Kandy – the country’s second-largest city after Colombo.

“I had eight weeks last year before the first Test [against New Zealand] with the thumb, so I am looking forward to getting out there. I think I play my best cricket when I am fresh,” Warner said.

“The last six to seven weeks has been fantastic. Obviously, I hit a bit of a form patch where I was going OK and you never want to sit out matches but, obviously, due to a break I was forced to do that. But I am ready to go and can’t wait.”

Warner said he still felt pain, particularly when deliveries had crashed into the toe of the bat and there had been jarring.

“I have experienced that before with the thumb so, just for the game moving forward, I’ll use the same thing that I did with the thumb – I’ll put a guard over the top [of the finger], underneath the glove, which has a bit of a silicon feel to it, so it stops a bit of vibration,” he said.

It was pointed out to Warner he had not notched a Test ton overseas since his 133 in Dubai in October 2014 but, as he replied, “It has been a while since I scored a hundred outside the country but also we haven’t really played that many Tests outside the country”.

Warner said he would use a plastic guard when fielding and still hoped to take his spot in the slips.

The tourists head into the series well prepared after more than a fortnight of practice, including enjoying a strong win over the Board XI in Colombo. That wicket did not provide as much spin as expected, and a similar deck is expected at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, where the tourists are preparing for early traditional swing then for the ball to reverse.

But coach Darren Lehmann has already flagged that frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe will play.

“The challenge for us is batting long periods of time. We know that’s what wins games in these conditions. You have got to be able to bat well into the next day and that’s the focus for us, adapting to these conditions,” Warner said.

That, says Warner, could lead to the series being a “big grind”, with the two captains employing “boring fields”. This will mean a more defensive philosophy with sweepers on the boundary, particularly when the spinners are on, to make batsmen work harder for their runs.

“You have got to be prepared to get your runs in one and twos. I think, at the end of the day, whoever is the fittest team will probably win the games,” Warner said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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