Dettol ODI Series v India
Australia sweat on Warner replacement for third ODI
David Warner looks set to miss the final Dettol ODI as Australia eagerly await results of scans on his adductor after he hobbled off the SCG on Sunday
Andrew Ramsey in Sydney
30 November 2020, 07:18 AM AEST
Australia's ODI captain Aaron Finch is resigned to finishing the current Dettol ODI Series against India without his opening partner David Warner, who also remains in doubt for the start of the Vodafone Test campaign to follow.
Warner and his team are awaiting results of scans taken last night after the in-form opener suffered an adductor muscle injury in a fielding mishap at the SCG.
The 34-year-old had to be helped from the field after sustaining the injury in the fourth over of India's ultimately unsuccessful run chase, initially by teammate Glenn Maxwell and then by Dettol Support Staff physiotherapist David Beakley before being transferred to hospital.
In the immediate aftermath of Australia's 51-run win, Finch said he was unsure of Warner's diagnosis but was preparing to open the innings with a new partner in the final ODI of the Dettol Series at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.
"We've got to shuffle it around, I don't think he'll be available," Finch said of the final match of the series in which Australia holds an unassailable 2-0 lead.
"We'll have to wait and see."
Maxwell confirmed that Warner was in significant pain immediately after suffering the injury, as he threw himself to his left to stop a strongly hit off-drive from India opener Shikhar Dhawan.
But Maxwell added that he held out hope the injury was not as severe as it outwardly appeared.
"Hopefully the scan comes back and he's okay, but it didn’t look good there," Maxwell said after last night's win.
"He didn't really want me to carry him off.
"It didn’t help that he's a lot shorter than me and couldn't reach up.
"But it seemed like he was in a bit of pain."
India batter K. L. Rahul noted that while it's always unpleasant to see rivals suffer injury, should Warner be unavailable for any of the upcoming four-match Vodafone Test Series it would doubtless be "good for our team" given the left-hander's strong start to the international summer.
Warner scored 69 from 76 balls in the ODI Series opener last Friday, and 83 from 77 last night before he was run out attempting a risky second run.
It was unclear how much of a role players such as Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins – all of whom undertook heavy workloads in the Indian Premier League T20 competition in recent months – would play in the three-game Dettol T20I Series that starts in Canberra next Friday.
It was tipped they might instead turn their focus to pink-ball preparations ahead of the first Test scheduled for Adelaide Oval from December 17.
Of the current Australia squad for the Dettol ODI and T20I Series, there are several players who have previously opened the batting in the ODI format.
Keeper Alex Carey opened alongside Finch in three matches in 2019, and Glenn Maxwell also partnered Finch on one occasion at the WACA Ground in 2013 where he scored a half-century.
Even in-form number three Smith tackled the new ball once back in 2015 when he opened with Warner's incumbent Test partner Joe Burns.
Marcus Stoinis has been used at the top of the order in domestic white-ball cricket but is currently on the sidelines after suffering a side strain during Friday night's win over India.
Matthew Wade, one of the reserve batters in the squad, has also opened 16 times for Australia in one-day cricket. While he has not played an ODI in more than three years, he is an incumbent in both the Test and T20 sides.
And D'Arcy Short, who opened in a couple of ODIs with Travis Head in 2018 when Warner was serving a 12-month suspension, is currently training with the Australia white-ball squad even though he is not formally a member.
Whatever option the national selectors take, Smith conceded that Warner would leave a large hole at the top of the batting order and in the field.
"Fortunately we've wrapped up the (ODI) series so the next game's probably not as important as if we got beaten tonight," Smith said after collecting his second Player of the Match award in as many ODI outings.
"But he's been batting exceptionally well.
"His energy out in the middle is outstanding at the moment.
"He's running as well as I've seen between the wickets.
"He's always been good, but he's doing it on another level at the moment.
"And just the partnership with Finchy up top, I think they complement each other really well and they've got us off to some terrific starts."
Australia have two other specialist openers in the 17-man Test squad – Burns and uncapped Victoria batter Will Pucovski, with the pair also named for an Australia A warm-up game against India A starting at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney next Sunday.
Dettol ODI Series v India 2020
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
First ODI: Australia won by 66 runs
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
*The matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements