David Warner receives huge Ashes boost amid form uncertainty
The Aussie opener will be on the plane to the UK ahead of the Ashes.
David Warner has received the backing of coach Andrew McDonald after his position as opener has come under fire for the upcoming Ashes series next month. Warner has struggled with form against the red ball in recent years, which culminated in a lacklustre tour of India.
The veteran opener also heads to England with doubts over his role after suffering at the hands of Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and James Anderson in the previous series over in the UK. Warner averages only 26.04 from 25 innings when facing the Duke ball.
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Stuart Broad has dismissed the left-hander the most of any bowler in Test cricket. Warner will fly over to the UK with the Australian team having returned home after his Indian Premier League campaign. The opener was in good white-ball form, despite the Delhi Capitals not making the playoffs.
But the opener now has to prepare for the Test Championship final against India on 7 June, before heading into the Ashes the following week. There has been plenty of debate over whether Warner deserves his spot at the top of the order.
Marcus Harris was included in the squad as a potential replacement, while ideas of using Mitchell Marsh as Usman Khawaja's partner have been floated. But it appears Warner will definitely play against India at The Oval, before a potential Ashes run.
"We're optimistic with what Dave's got left. We've picked him in the squad and we feel like he will play a really significant part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship final and that is why he is on the plane. We think he has some good games left in him," McDonald said on SEN Radio.
"He is an important part of the squad. If he wasn't, he would have had a clear checkpoint after the World Test Championship going into the Ashes. That is not the case. He is clearly in our plans."
When asked about Warner's form in the UK, considering he is in the back-end of his career, McDonald said the opener has "plenty to draw upon" after the 2015 Ashes series and his recent form for the Delhi Capitals.
Warner appears to have two Ashes tests to prove his form and to go out on his own terms after an illustrious cricket career in the baggy green.
David Warner's Ashes role
On Wednesday, England quick Broad admitted that he has always enjoyed his battle with opener Warner throughout their time out in the middle. While Broad certainly got the better of Warner in the last Ashes series in the UK in 2019, the quick admitted the Aussie opener had prompted him to change his tactics earlier in his career.
While McDonald appeared more upbeat about Warner's role this time around, speaking to reporters in India during the Border-Gavaskar series back in March, the coach was less assured about Warner's future after his injury. "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."
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