West Indies in Australia, 2012-13 January 30, 2013

Warner suffers fractured thumb at training


David Warner's place on Australia's Test tour of India is open to serious fitness questions after it was confirmed he suffered a fractured thumb when struck in the nets ahead of the ODI series against West Indies.

On the eve of the squad announcement for the subcontinent, Warner was struck by a prancing delivery from Mitchell Johnson in the lively WACA ground nets and showed considerable discomfort before being whisked away for scans on the thumb that confirmed a break.

"David Warner was struck on the left thumb by Mitchell Johnson in the nets," Australian team physio Kevin Sims said.

"While the fracture is very minor, it is not worth taking any risks. The injury will keep him out of at least the next two matches against West Indies. We'll assess how he is progressing after that to determine his availability for the remainder of the series."

The exit of Warner from the West Indies ODIs has meant a call-up for Usman Khawaja, who will fly to Perth to join the team before the first match of the series on Friday.

It also adds another layer of intrigue to Shane Watson's return as a non-bowling batsman. At the same time Warner was having his thumb examined, Watson looked uncomfortable during a brief innings of six from 23 balls for New South Wales against Western Australia in a domestic limited overs match at the SCG.

Struck on the shoulder early on by a short ball from Nathan Coulter-Nile, Watson was then cramped by an inswinger from the young left-armer Joel Paris and squeezed a return catch off bat and pad. Despite his lack of first-class preparation, Watson will now be in line to open the batting in India should Warner's thumb not recover in time.

"He would've liked more runs, there's no question about that," Watson's former Test teammate and now WA batsman Michael Hussey said. "He'll get better and better the more he plays, it's just good to have him back out there playing, I think it's very good for Australian cricket that he's back out there.

"He can play a crucial role for Australia whether it's high in the order or in the middle order. I hope to see him back in there."

Hussey termed Warner's injury "terrible luck". "He's been playing well, I think he's getting a lot of consistency to his game, and that's a big blow for Australia coming into this one-day series for sure," he said. "It's going to give an opportunity for someone else - maybe it's an opportunity for Shane Watson to get back up the top of the order and get some confidence back that way."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on January 31, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    @Joseph Langford: maybe Quiney's 9 runs in three test innings and his career first-average of 35.95 have something to do with it?

  • Dummy4 on January 31, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I wonder why people aren't thinking "Give Quiney another chance in India!!!" Remember him, played for Australia against Sth Africa. Many thought he was selected so that one player couldn't play and the other could be bought back for Sri Lanka. Just adding a little bit more fuel to that fire!!

  • Sean on January 30, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    I cant keep up with all these injury prone aussie prima donnas. Maybe you guys should just stay at home mid year, for your own safety. Today its a broken thumb, tomorrow someone might suffer strained hair, or a dislodged shoulder pad.

  • Merv on January 30, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Can we rotate the selectors? To New Zealand maybe? All this selection is easy. Just pick the Victorian side when a replacement or new team member is needed. They do anyway.

  • Muhammad on January 30, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    I hope Warner returns before India tour and repeats the performance of Perth Test or World T20 match against India where he completely pummeled their poor bowling.

  • Delbert on January 30, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    don't see why all these comments here about india series when australia has to play west indies before hand. Everyone knows australia will get a hard time in india even with Warner or with out Warner.

  • Robert on January 30, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Shame for little Dave - his contributions in the field will be missed. That said I don't think it will have much impact on the overall result. Whilst India were outclassed by England in the tests, they are clear favourites to give the Aussies a good pasting. I predict three innings victories (a bit like the last Ashes).

  • Mashuq on January 30, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Yes, Mike, "It's going to give an opportunity for someone else - maybe it's an opportunity for Shane Watson to get back up the top of the order and get some confidence back that way." But his wife is due to give birth and he'll be missing for a period. The obvious replacement for the tour to India is Chris Rogers who can show us all what he can do ahead of the Ashes. You've got it spot on @Mitty2 on (January 30 2013, 08:11 AM GMT): "bring in rogers for the tour as backup for at risk batsmen, who need rotation." That will take care of the returning Watson as well.

  • nikhil on January 30, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    Already Australia were left wanting for Watson's power hitting and effective bowling, that now they would have to do away with the 'pocket dynamo' as well. It provides a great opportunity to young Usman khwaja, who has been on the selectors radar for quite some time now. Though personally i would have been tempted to pick Shaun Marsh, as he is in tremendous form, and it would do his confidence a world of good to get some knocks under his belt. I think Shaun's back problem had militated against him in the past, but he should be tested in the longer format, particularly when both the Watto and Warner are out due to injuries