David Warner’s Ashes chances hang by a thread as the Australian opener’s Test future hinges on his performance in the World Test Championship final against India amid dire form
- David Warner’s chances of acquiring a swansong from the Ashes are hanging by a thread
- The 36-year-old was in terrible form in the five-day format
- His Test future appears to depend on his performance against India in June
David Warner is struggling to convince Australian selectors he deserves one last Ashes this summer.
Warner, 36, is a veteran of six series against England but his chances at seventh appear to hinge on his performance against India in the final of the World Test Championship in June.
Australia are set to select their touring squads for the one-off fixture at Kea Oval as well as the first two of their next five matches against Ben Stokes’ in-form side next week.
However, both coach Andrew McDonald and national selector George Bailey stopped endorsing the 103-capped batsman for automatic inclusion against the old foe amid his severe slump in form.
Warner made just one Test 50 across nine Tests spanning the last twelve months – two hundred off South Africa last Christmas in Melbourne, swelling his overall average over that period to 28.92.
David Warner’s chances of playing a role in the Ashes this year are hanging by a thread
The 36-year-old’s performance in five-day cricket has been unconvincing at best of late
They will also no doubt contemplate his torment at the hands of Stuart Broad in particular on the 2019 tour here when he averaged just 9.5 – the worst of any opener to play 10 innings in a Test series.
“The way every player ends up is always different: some want to go out a certain way, others are okay with potentially being left by both sides, but for now Dave is entirely in our plans for the World Test Championship,” said McDonald, who saw his team lose 2 -1 in India last month.
Bailey also refused to look beyond the World Series final, despite Warner being named among Australia’s 24 contract cricket central players for 2023-24 on Thursday.
Interestingly enough, Marcus Harris, an opposing left-handed opener, was another of the winners, with an enthusiastic Bailey noting his “really good and strong record against England”. On cue, Harris began his County Championship season and a half century for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan.
Harris was held in reserve last winter, but a sign emerged that Australia were lining up their B, C and D plans to partner Usman Khawaja at the top of the order when they picked Matt Renshaw as opener for the A team’s ongoing series in New Zealand – one in which they use the Dukes’ English-made balls.
Renshaw was used bottom of the order in India, a tour that saw Warner go home the second of two defeats with a concussion and a broken elbow, after being knocked down by goalkeeper Mohamed Siraj.
Cameron Bancroft, top run scorer in the recently concluded Sheffield Shield, is hoping to put more pressure on those above him in the pecking order by featuring for Somerset in the first four rounds of the championship.
His performance against India in the final of the World Test Championship would decide his fate
Travis Head has also shown how to become a masterful player, by deputizing for the sub-continent, although it is believed he will place behind Marcus Labuschagny and Steve Smith at number 5 here – a sign that his attack on the softer old ball is valued more than his ability. It’s early to fight a new one.
Warner has vowed to play international cricket until 2024 regardless of his Ashes fate, but his woes have been magnified by his lackluster performance in the Indian Premier League.
This could have been a very different format but Warner’s lack of personality has pushed Delhi down, the team they lead, sending them to three defeats and sliding down the pecking order.
Warner temporarily became the competition’s leading run-scorer on Saturday before losing the award later in the day to Ruturaj Gaikwad – but his 158 runs frustrated plenty of deliveries, taking his strike rate to 117. In contrast to his reckless youth, he is the only one in the top 30 A prolific hitter who never hit six.