Jatin ∙ Mar 14 2023, 3:00 PM

David Warner still in Australia's WTC Final Plans, confirms coach McDonald

image-lf88nnx6Warner suffered an injury during India tour [AP Photos]

Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, has reaffirmed the inclusion of opener David Warner in their squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India, despite his recent struggles in the format.

Warner, who only managed to score 26 runs (at an average of 8.66) in three innings, sustained a fractured elbow and concussion during the second test in Delhi and returned to Australia for recovery.

As a result, speculation has been rife about the future of the senior opener in the Test format. However, McDonald confirmed that Warner is still in their plans for the WTC final.

Speaking after the Ahmedabad Test, the Aussie coach expressed his team's plans for Warner, stating that they are constantly engaging with their senior players to understand their preferences and plans.

McDonald highlighted the complexity of the team's schedule, spanning 274 days on the road, with 144 days dedicated to red-ball cricket and 130 days to white-ball cricket. He emphasized that such extensive travel requires give and take, and they are always discussing the players' career status to make informed decisions.

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

In Warner's case, McDonald confirmed his complete recovery from his injury and that he would be playing in the upcoming one-day series against India. The Australian veteran also hinted that Warner's participation in the WTC final was almost certain, as he continued to remain a vital cog in the team's plans.

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

Meanwhile, Steve Smith will take charge of Australia's team for the upcoming three-match ODI series against India, starting on Friday. The Australian batting mainstay also led the team in the last two Tests against India after regular captain Pat Cummins left to attend to his mother, who passed away last week.