Warner on track but Australia call on Maxwell as cover

Warner will bat like Chanderpaul if he has to – Smith (0:53)

Australia captain Steven Smith expects that David Warner will have recovered from his neck injury in time for the start of the Ashes. (0:53)

Australia have called Glenn Maxwell into their squad as cover for David Warner, who suffered a neck injury at training on Tuesday, but captain Steven Smith said he was confident Warner would be fit to play the first Ashes Test.

Warner hurt his neck during a fielding drill at the Gabba two days before the match and although he faced only two throwdowns in the nets later that day, on match eve he enjoyed a much longer batting session as he aimed to prove his fitness.

“Davey’s going well,” Smith said after Australia’s training session on Wednesday. “He had a hit just before. He’s very confident and he says he’ll be right to go.

“They’re thinking about it [a standby player] at the moment, but Davey’s confident that he’ll be okay. They’re talking about someone at the moment, so there’s a good chance someone will be in as cover, but I’m not sure who at this stage.”

Soon after Smith’s press conference, Australia confirmed that Maxwell would be brought in as cover. Maxwell has played Australia’s four most recent Test matches, in India and Bangladesh, and scored his maiden Test hundred in Ranchi in March.

However, he is yet to play a Test match on home soil, and was overlooked in the original Test squad as the selectors instead opted for Shaun Marsh as the No.6 batsman. Marsh’s versatility in the batting order would allow him to move up to open alongside Cameron Bancroft if Warner was ruled out.

However, Smith said his vice-captain Warner was keen to do anything required to be part of the XI on Thursday and was expected to be in the side.

“He’ll be okay,” Smith said. “It’s part and parcel of playing cricket. Guys have injuries now and then. You have little niggles and he’s confident that he’ll be okay. He said he’ll even bat like Shivnarine Chanderpaul if he has to bat that way. So I think he’ll be all right.”

Smith also confirmed that, as expected, fast bowlers Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers would sit out of the side from the 13-man squad.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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