Shane Warne has taken a veiled swipe at Australia’s selectors in the aftermath of David Warner’s injury in the second ODI against India.
Warner was rushed off for scans after limping from the SCG on Sunday night after suffering a groin injury while fielding.
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The talisman opener could be forced to miss at least the first Test against India, amid fears he’s done some serious damage.
If Warner was to miss the first Test it would make the job of selectors much easier, with incumbent Joe Burns locked in a battle to retain his spot from red-hot youngster Will Pucovski.
Speaking in commentary during the second ODI, Warne referenced the battle between Burns and Pucovski while taking a swipe at selector Trevor Hohns’ recent admission that he would consult Warner about who should get the nod.
“Maybe they’ll interview Will Pucovski and say who do you want to bat with?” Warne said.
Hohns, the chairman of Australia’s selectors, has come under fire from the likes of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Ian Chappell for his recent comments.
“(Warner) is a very senior player, he’s very experienced,” Hohns said.
“It's important he's comfortable as well, provided we are of course, with the person he opens with.
“It goes a long way in forming an opening partnership ... we certainly do consult players on such issues.”
Fears for David Warner after ‘horrible’ scenes
Warner was stationed at mid-off on Sunday, when he appeared to tweak an adductor muscle while diving for a ball in the fourth over of India’s chase.
The star batsman was clearly bothered, yelling out in agony before a hand-up from Pat Cummins helped him stand.
Warner struggled to walk, with teammate Glenn Maxwell and physio David Beakley helping him take the first few steps from the middle before the 34-year-old limped down the race by himself.
“He seemed like he was in a bit of pain but hopefully scans come back and it's not too bad, he can rest up and get himself right,” Maxwell said.
“It didn't look good.”
The four-Test series between Australia and India begins on December 17, meaning any strain could put Warner in doubt for the day-night series opener.
India batsman KL Rahul admitted a long stint on the sidelines for Warner would be “good for our team”.
18 days until 1st Test in Adelaide.
Even if minor issue that puts Warner right on the edge of recovery.
Burns-Pucovski walking out against new ball perhaps?#AUSvIND
— Andrew McCormack (@_AMcCormack7) November 29, 2020
Usually a groin strain takes 1-2 weeks, and a tear 4-6 weeks. The first Test is in 18 days. Big moment if David Warner is ruled out for a large chunk of the summer. Could it be Alex Carey opening with Aaron Finch? And Will Pucovski with Joe Burns? #AUSvsIND
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) November 29, 2020
Would be awful to see David Warner out for the tests with injury. Missed last #AUSvsIND series with the ban. Crazy to think we’ve gone from wondering who will win the battle to partner him to potentially Burns and Pucovski opening together. 🤞It doesn’t get to that. #cricket
— Jelisa Apps (@JelisaApps) November 29, 2020
National selectors will at least need to find a new opening partner for Aaron Finch in Wednesday’s ODI series finale and the three ensuing Twenty20s.
“We've got to reshuffle it around. I don't think he'll be available,” captain Finch said.
But filling the potential void left by Warner at the top of the Test order would cause coach Justin Langer far more stress.
Burns and Pucovski were slated to open together for Australia A in a ‘bat off’, which starts at Drummoyne Oval on Sunday and was set to help determine which of them plays the first Test.
Burns and Pucovski may now both confront Jasprit Bumrah under lights at Adelaide Oval, unless selectors opt to overhaul the batting order.
Warner had started the ODI series in strong form, scoring 69 and 83, and scored a career-best 335 not out in last year's pink-ball Test.
“It's not great signs for David,” Test tweaker Nathan Lyon said in the Fox Cricket commentary box.
The former vice-captain’s injury comes two days after Marcus Stoinis suffered a minor side strain during the ODI series opener.
Stoinis and Warner are among the Indian Premier League stars who were released from hotel quarantine the day before the first ODI on Friday.
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