While Australia are 2-1 in the five-match Test series, Warner’s poor run with the willow has continued. The 36-year-old has registered only one fifty-plus score in six innings. In the third Test at Headingley, he was dismissed for 4 and 1 in the two innings as England got the better of the Aussies by three wickets.
At a press conference ahead of the fourth Test, Cummins backed under-fire Warner and confirmed that he would retain his place in the team for Manchester. The Australian captain commented, “Josh will come in for Scott Boland, and the top order will stay the same. Davey (Warner) didn’t have his best game last week at Headingley, but prior to that, he has looked really good. He has had three 50-run (opening) partnerships, which can be rare over in England.”
The fast bowler also hinted that off-spinner Todd Murphy might make way for all-rounder Cameron Green and thus Mitchell Marsh, who made a fantastic return to Test cricket, could retain his place. Replacing an injured Green at Headingley, Marsh hit a hundred and picked up a couple of key wickets as well.
Green has recovered from his hamstring strain and is set to come back in place of Murphy, who bowled only 9.3 overs at Headingley. Rain being forecast on the last two days of the Test could also influence the decision to drop the young spinner.
Cummins said, “Part of the conversation is how do two all-rounders fit in, is spin going to be important this week. We’ve played games with one quick, we’ve played some games with heaps of quicks. It’s all really conditions-based.
“As I said last week about Toddy, I would have loved to bowl him a bit more but there wasn’t a heap of overs in the game, the ball seemed to swing and seam a little bit. So that’s certainly something to weigh up this week,” he concluded.
--By A Cricket Correspondent