Warner the cynosure

The second one-day international in Hobart was already a sell-out,but David Warner’s sudden inclusion into the squad...

Written by Agencies | Melbourne | Published:January 18, 2009 12:22 am

The second one-day international in Hobart was already a sell-out,but David Warner’s sudden inclusion into the squad,and the anticipation of Australia’s latest batting sensation leading the comeback in the series for the hosts have set up tickets at a premium.

Warner,who smashed a blistering 89 off just 43 balls in the opening T20 international against the Proteas at the MCG earlier this month,is certain to make his ODI debut on Sunday after being picked to replace Michael Clarke,who was ruled out with a thumb injury.

The twenty-two year old was on standby for Clarke but released from the squad when the vice-captain’s injured thumb was cleared for him to play in Friday night’s three-wicket loss to South Africa at the MCG. Warner was scheduled to play for NSW against Victoria in a Big Bash 20-over game in Sydney last night,but instead rushed to Hobart.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch backed Warner,saying he hoped the left-hander would use the opportunity to secure a spot in the one-day team. “This is very disappointing for Michael and his presence will be sorely missed. However it presents an exciting opportunity for David to follow his spectacular Twenty20 debut in 50-over format for Australia,” Hilditch said.

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur turned the screws on Warner,saying the youngster will be under pressure.

“I think he seems to be weighted down with expectation,all I’ve seen on tele for the last week is Warner,” Arthur said. “Really,to be totally honest it’s all on the back of one innings,at international level anyway. So he’s got to be feeling the pressure. He’s got to be under pressure when he comes in. Yeah,we’ll probably look to exploit that a little bit and keep building pressure on him so perhaps he does lose his head.”

Clarke advised rest

Clarke,meanwhile,has been advised rest for two weeks. “During Friday’s match,Michael experienced pain while batting. It was the first time that he had batted without an injection since suffering the injury during the Test match at WACA. While Michael could continue to play with pain-relieving injections,this will slow his recovery,” physio Alex Kountouris said.

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