Andrew McDonald's huge call on David Warner amid uncertain Test future

The Aussie cricket coach has responded to questions about David Warner's place in the Test team.

Andrew McDonald, pictured here alongside David Warner.
Andrew McDonald has addressed David Warner's future in Test cricket. Image: Getty

Aussie cricket coach Andrew McDonald has revealed David Warner is still firmly in Australia's plans for the World Test Championship final and Ashes, despite the side appearing to find his perfect replacement in Travis Head. Warner flow home from India after the second Test after fracturing his elbow and suffering a concussion.

At that point the Aussies were down 2-0 in the series, but they managed to fight back and ended up losing 2-1. Head took Warner's place at the top of the order and performed brilliantly, capping off his series with 90 on the final day of the fourth Test to steer his side to victory.

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Head's emergence as an opener has put major question marks on Warner's future, with doubts emerging that he'll get back into the XI. The 36-year-old has stated that this will be his last year playing Test cricket, but he's determined to help Australia win the Ashes before bowing out.

But with Head performing so well in India, there are question marks about whether Warner has played his final Test already. The Aussies will next play a Test match in June against India in the World Test Championship final, which starts nine days before a blockbuster Ashes series in England.

Speaking to reporters in India on Tuesday, McDonald addressed Warner's future and said he's still firmly in their plans. "I think you work through that conversation, and how each player finishes is always different," the coach said. "Some want to go out in a certain way, and others are OK with potentially being dropped out of sides.

"But at the moment Dave's fully in our plans for the World Test Championship final, he's coming back for the one-day series (against India), he's recovered from his injury. So we'll see Dave back in Australian colours on March 17 and we'll go from there."

Warner is flying back to India for a three-match ODI series, beginning on Friday. But his future after that remains anything but certain.

Michael Clarke wants David Warner opening in Ashes

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann recently floated the idea that Warner could bat in the middle-order in the Ashes, in a move that would allow Head to stay at the top and give Warner some counter-attacking freedom against an older ball that theoretically wouldn't be moving around as much.

Warner endured a nightmare series the last time the Ashes were played in England, with Stuart Broad terrorising the Aussie opener with the swinging new ball. Warner's average in the UK is only about 21, leading to calls for selectors to overlook him for this year's series.

But former Test captain Michael Clarke reckons the Aussies would be much better served with Warner at the top of the order and Head back at No.5, where he has scored a mountain of runs over the last two years.

David Warner, pictured here after fracturing his elbow in the second Test between Australia and India
David Warner fractured his elbow in the second Test between Australia and India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

"I'm 100 per cent taking him (Warner) to England and he's playing the first Test match," Clarke said on Sky Sports radio on Tuesday. "I'm saying 'mate, you're a massive player for us in this Ashes series, you can win us this series'. I'm pumping his tyres, I'm making sure he's fit, he's healthy, he's playing his best cricket, he's prepared.

"He's got the Test Championship (against India in June) as an opportunity to gets runs under his belt in those conditions and then let him go in the first Test. I'd think Davey might retire after the Ashes but I'd be giving him a crack. Go and dominate and take them on and if he doesn't perform, then you can drop him.

"Travis Head is locked in at number five. Travis Head is not opening the batting in England conditions – no way."

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