Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann is confident vice-captain David Warner will take his place on the team flight to Bangladesh on Friday, after being struck on the neck by a bouncer while batting in the intra-squad practice match in Darwin on Tuesday.
Warner passed a concussion test on Tuesday following the blow, which occurred when he missed an attempted hook shot against Josh Hazlewood, but he sat out of the final day’s play on Wednesday as a precaution. Lehmann said Warner had a stiff neck and a headache as a result of the incident.
“He seems all right, walking around the ground today, so fingers crossed he’ll be okay and we’ll get an update in the next day or two,” Lehmann told reporters in Darwin on Wednesday. “It’s always a scare when that happens, isn’t it? Hopefully he’s going to be okay.”
However, Warner will be one of the several batsmen short of time in the middle ahead of the team’s departure, with Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw struggling for runs in the practice game. Peter Handscomb, Hilton Cartwright and Steven Smith all posted scores of note, while left-arm spinner Ashton Agar picked up four wickets in 12 overs on the final day.
Forgotten spinner Jon Holland also reminded Australia’s selectors of his value by taking four wickets in 11 deliveries on Wednesday, including the wickets of Handscomb and Cartwright.
Holland played two Tests on Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka last year and was second only to Chadd Sayers on the Sheffield Shield wicket tally last summer, but was overlooked when the squad for the Bangladesh series was named.
Instead, the selectors opted for Agar and Mitchell Swepson as the second and third spinners alongside Nathan Lyon for the Bangladesh trip, with Glenn Maxwell as a slow-bowling all-round option.
“They’re all pretty cooked, exactly what we wanted,” Lehmann said of the squad on Wednesday after the game. “We would have liked to bat a bit longer today but they were tough conditions and that’s exactly what we wanted obviously leading into Bangladesh. We’ve got to get better at batting for longer periods but I thought the spinners were good.”
The series in Bangladesh will be Australia’s first Test tour of the country since 2006. They were due to play two Tests in Bangladesh in 2015, but the tour was postponed on security advice from the Australian government.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale
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