Australia are sweating over the fitness of their star man David Warner ahead of their World Cup 2019 campaign opener against Afghanistan on Saturday (June 1). The left-handed batsman reportedly pulled out midway from the team’s training session in Bristol after complaining of a stiff glute muscle on the right leg.
Later, head coach Justin Langer confirmed that the batsman was ‘a bit sore’ while also stating that there is no surety over whether Warner would play the game. Langer admitted that Warner is desperate to take the field to play his first international game since the ball-tampering scandal but made it clear that the team-management would take a call only after seeing his fitness.
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“He [Warner] was a bit sore on Wednesday. He’s just a bit sore in his right glute. He is desperate to play, he’d love to play like all 15 players would,” Langer said on Thursday. “He’s jumping out of his skin, his energy is up and he’s laughing a lot which is a good sign. He’s really keen but we’ve got to make sure he can move, particularly in the field.
Warner will undergo a fitness test on Friday (May 31) that will determine the 32-year-old’s status and availability for the first fixture. Langer is hopeful of sorting out things early and has informed Warner about the same.
“We’ll have a pretty good idea today, how he moves and how he pulls up in the morning,” Langer said. “What I’ve expressed to him is that it’s really important to be fair to the other players as well. We don’t want to get to Saturday morning then make a call with a couple of guys wondering if they are going to play. The earlier the better, he knows that and collectively we’re really strong on that,” Langer added.
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David Warner, nonetheless, was the top run-scorer in this year’s IPL but has not quite managed to leave a mark in the Australian jersey so far. The left-handed batsman’s highest score is only 43 in five 50-over games for Australia since the end of IPL. In case he fails to recover, Australia are likely to open with Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja.