MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia opening batsman David Warner will test out his thumb in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition this week ahead of the opening test against New Zealand.
Warner broke his thumb on tour in England and after a long stint on the sidelines will finally get to shake off some rust for New South Wales against South Australia from Wednesday.
Warner said the thumb was still ginger and likely to be for the rest of his career, having previously suffered a few knocks on it at the crease.
“I think I got hit against India in Brisbane on the same thumb last season as well and the pain is always going to be there,” Warner told reporters in Sydney.
“It is about me getting through that pain. You speak to any wicketkeeper in the world — they are playing with broken fingers so I am not complaining at all.
“Unless I cop another one on the thumb while I am practising or batting out in the middle that is the only thing that will hinder my selection for the first test.
“Two weeks ago the doctor said to me come three or four days before the first test it should be completely healing.”
Warner will be new captain Steven Smith’s deputy in the three-test series against New Zealand, which starts in Brisbane from Nov. 5.
He will also be one of the few experienced batsmen left in the test team after the retirements of fellow opener Chris Rogers, former skipper Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson.
Their replacements are yet to be bedded down, with Joe Burns, youngster Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja among the candidates vying for a top order spot.
Warner would not be drawn on his preferred opening partner but his former team mate Rogers anointed Burns, who played two tests against India during the last home summer, as his preferred successor.
“Joe has been around for a little while and Cameron has had one good season,” Rogers told state radio.
“I’d like him to start off the season and do well again and then show it is not just a one-off.
“Burns played in the test summer last year, was unlucky not to get into that Ashes squad, and now there is another chance for him to come back in.
“For me, there is a pecking order, and he’s the next one.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)