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Smith: Australia considering replacement for Warner

22 November 2017 02:55

Australia captain Steve Smith revealed a replacement player is being considered for David Warner, though the Ashes hosts are confident their star opener will be fit to face England in Brisbane.

Warner hurt his neck during training at the Gabba on Tuesday, just two days out from the opening day of the Ashes against holders England.

The big-hitting batsman – who has maintained he will not miss the first Test – spent 30 minutes in the nets on Wednesday.

However, skipper Smith fronted the media on Ashes eve and said selectors are weighing up whether to call on an extra batsman.

"They're thinking about it [bringing in a replacement player] at the moment, but Davey is confident he'll be OK," said Smith, who also confirmed reserve pacemen Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers will sit out the opener, meaning Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will spearhead Australia's bowling attack.

"There's a good chance someone will be in as cover, but I'm not sure who at this stage.

"Davey is going well. He had a hit just before and he's very confident. He said he'll be right to go."

Warner was reportedly seen grimacing at stages during Wednesday's session but the Aussie vice-captain is willing to adopt the unusual batting stance of former West Indies cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul in order to play.

Smith added: "It's a little bit side-to-side, but mainly going back.

"He said he'll even bat like Shivnarine Chanderpaul if he has to and face the other way, so I think he'll be alright.

"It's improved a fair bit over the last 24 hours. Hopefully he can keep improving and he'll be 100 per cent come 10 o'clock in the morning."

 

Australia XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

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