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Injury scare for Warner

Date

Andrew Wu

A serious injury has huge implications for the four-Test series.

A serious injury has huge implications for the four-Test series. Photo: Brendan Esposito

DAVID Warner has sent a scare through the Australian camp with a minor thumb fracture that could have dire ramifications for next month's Test tour of India.

The opener was struck on the left thumb by the menacing Mitchell Johnson during training at the WACA Ground nets on Wednesday.

Warner was assessed by Cricket Australia medical staff and sent for the scans, which revealed the minor fracture.

He has been ruled out of the first two one-dayers against the West Indies, with Usman Khawaja named as Warner's replacement in the one-day squad.

More importantly, the injury could have big implications for the four-Test series against India, Warner having been one of Australia's most reliable batsmen since collecting his baggy green in 2011.

The development provided late drama for selectors as they finalise a touring party for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting in about three weeks.

But selectors are still tipped to name a 17-man squad on Thursday though may name a standby for Warner following his injury.

Warner's blow leaves the door ajar for George Bailey, David Hussey or even Alex Doolan to tour the subcontinent. His injury could also pave the way for Shane Watson to return to his preferred position at the top of the order.

While Australia's limited-overs teams remain firmly in experimental phase, selectors believe they are far more settled in the Test arena despite the retirements of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey earlier in the summer.

Coach and selector Mickey Arthur said earlier in the week that team managers wanted to cover all bases during the seven-week tour, hence the size of the touring party.

Selectors had shortlisted as many as 22 players but whittled it down in recent weeks. Khawaja and Steve Smith will travel as the reserve batsmen but their chances of playing a Test could hinge on whether selectors decide to play an all-rounder.

Uncapped Glenn Maxwell has the rails run to collect a baggy green in the spin-friendly subcontinental conditions but will need to improve his off-spin to fend off any challenge from Moises Henriques.

Xavier Doherty is expected to pip Stephen O'Keefe as the back-up spin option to Nathan Lyon.

That means Australia could have as many as four spinners on the tour.

That Australia will pick five quicks - Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Johnson and Jackson Bird - indicates selectors still believe pace will be the strength in India.

Despite selectors' desire to have all bases covered, Brad Haddin will not be sent as cover for Matthew Wade, though he remains firmly in Australia's plans for the Ashes.

But Haddin is likely to don the gloves in the final three games of the one-day series against the West indies, while Wade travels early to India.

POSSIBLE SQUAD: Clarke (c), Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Khawaja, Smith, Wade, Henriques, Maxwell, Lyon, Doherty, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Johnson, Bird

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