Australia coach Andrew McDonald has dispelled all doubts over David Warner’s Test career, saying the veteran left-hander “at this stage” is very much in contention for next year’s tour of India, despite his poor run in the format.
Warner averaged just 25.5 in the just-concluded two-Test series against the West Indies and has 23 average in nine five-day games in 2022.
But McDonald backed Warner to come good in the three-Test series against South Africa starting on Saturday in Brisbane, and seal a spot for the tour of India in February-March next year.
“We’ll see what happens in the next three Test matches, but at this stage he’s (Warner) firmly in our thoughts for India,”
McDonald was quoted as saying by the Australian media.
At 36, Warner is at the business end of his career and has already declared that he will take a call on his Test cricket future after this season.
“If we keep picking him and he makes runs, then you know he’s back,” McDonald said.
“And if you keep picking him and he doesn’t, then he’s probably on the fade. I think it’s as simple as that. He’s in our plans for the immediate future, and we’ll see what unfolds from there.”
The coach said he was not at all worried about Warner’s current form.
“His (Warner) appetite for the work, in and around training is still there. He’s busy at the crease, and you’ve seen signs that he is going well. He’s just found different ways to get out, and sometimes that can happen,” McDonald said.
“He’s eager to continue on at this stage, he hasn’t hinted anything else. We are building towards a World Test Championship as well, and he wants to be part of that so that’s a clear focus for us and we’ve got South Africa as a part of that. And then on to India. So there’s no indication of anything else at the moment,” the coach said.
Australia will tour India for four Tests and three ODIs starting February 9 in Nagpur.