BASSETERRE: Australia’s depth will be tested in this month’s ODI tri-series and possibly next month’s tour of Sri Lanka, with David Warner having suffered a broken finger.
Cricket Australia (CA) is consulting specialists as to whether surgery is required but Warner is confident he could return for the tri-series final, in Barbados on June 26.
Team management is likely to take a more conservative approach with their form batsman, wanting him to focus on July 26 when a three-Test series starts in Sri Lanka.
“We will assess the situation over the coming days to see if the injury requires a surgical option,” team doctor Geoffrey Verrall said.
“But should that not be the case then David is likely to be available to return to play in somewhere between two and six weeks.”
If Warner only has to immobilise the intra-articular fracture of his left index finger then it’s likely selectors won’t have to find a new opening partner for Joe Burns in Pallekele.
Usman Khawaja is set to open alongside Aaron Finch in Australia’s clash with West Indies, which starts at 3am (AEST) on Tuesday.
Australia are not expected to summon extra cover to the Caribbean.
Batsmen Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head are part of the touring party and both were left out of the XI that defeated South Africa by 36 runs in St Kitts.
Warner continued his career-best form in that game, posting his first ODI ton outside Australia to be named man of the match.
The vice-captain hurt his finger while fielding during the Proteas’ run-chase and was initially hopeful that he had avoided serious injury, only for scans to show otherwise.
“It’s obviously disappointing to be sidelined given the form I’ve been in and given the important stage the tri-series is at, but it’s always important to look at the positives,” Warner said.
“This downtime, however long or short it is, will give me the chance to freshen up and spend quality time with my family after an intense period of action.”
Warner has been playing almost non-stop cricket since the home summer, with trips to New Zealand and South Africa followed by the World Twenty20 and Indian Premier League.
The 29-year-old has impressed plenty with his maturity and consistent run-scoring over the past year.
“It’s doubly disappointing to have David Warner sidelined,” stand-in coach Justin Langer said of the reigning Allan Border medallist.
“Because of his outstanding form plus his attitude and professionalism around the group, which has been a joy to work with.
“But we’ve spoken from day one of this tour about every single person in the squad contributing to our success.”
Warner hasn’t missed a game through injury since a bouncer from Steve Finn broke his left thumb last September.