David Warner‘s Test future may be a matter of some conjecture, but his white-ball status remains undiminished, with the opener to captain the Delhi Capitals in the IPL.
The 36-year-old is back in India with the Australian ODI squad, but his readiness for the opening clash on Friday night remains unclear despite recovering from a fractured elbow suffered during the second Test.
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His absence opened the door for Travis Head to bat at the top of the order and his success, scoring 176 runs in four digs, raised some questions about Warner’s red-ball future after his early series failures.
Australian coach Andrew McDonald guaranteed Warner was firmly in the plans of national selectors for the World Test Championship final, against India at The Oval in July, but that was as far as his commitment went as retirement talk loomed.
“I think you work through that conversation, and how each player finishes is always different,” McDonald said.
“Some want to go out in a certain way, and others are OK with potentially being dropped out of sides. But at the moment Dave’s fully in our plans for the World Test Championship, he’s coming back for the one-day series, he’s recovered from his injury there, so we’ll see Dave back in Australian colours on the 17th and we’ll go from there.
“We are continually talking to our senior players with what they have coming up. Juggling the schedule that’s in front of us, we are staring down 274 days on the road – 144 for the red-ball team, 130 for the white-ball team.
“So there’s going to be some give and take within that. We have some great depth, got coverage in all areas and we are always talking to our senior players with where they are at in regards to their careers.”
Warner has declared his intention to play on in Australia’s ODI and T20 side until at least the next T20 World Cup in 2024 and potentially beyond that in franchise cricket.
He remains a favourite for IPL teams and will take over the captaincy of Delhi, where Australian great Ricky Ponting is coach, to replace injured Rishabh Pant.
Captaincy in the IPL is not new to Warner, who took the Sunrisers to the title in 2016. He has the fifth best record as skipper in the tournament, winning 35 of the 69 matches he has been in charge.
But his lifetime captaincy ban for Australian teams remains in place, part of the penalty for his role in the sandpaper scandal in 2018.