David Warner limped off during Australia’s final training session. Picture: AP
David Warner limped off during Australia’s final training session. Picture: AP

Aussies hit with 11th hour Cup injury scare

Aussie officials are confident David Warner's leg soreness won't stop his long-awaited return against Afghanistan.

The opener missed the last warm up match against Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl because of tightness in his upper leg and only did limited training at the squad's first session in Bristol on Wednesday.

Warner batted for a short time and gestured toward his glute area after leaving the nets, apparently indicating that it was causing him some concern. He did not return.

He then left the field for the dressing rooms while the rest of the squad completed the session at the Bristol County Ground.

Australian medical staff would also have been mindful of the cold and wet conditions at the ground, with an apparent temperature of around 8C.

But it's understood there is no serious concern over his fitness to play on Saturday.

Australia train again on Thursday night in Bristol, before they have one final optional run on Friday afternoon.

It comes as coach Justin Langer and selectors must make a call on whether Warner should return to the top of the order, or bat at No.3.

Usman Khawaja has starred in the opening role alongside captain Aaron Finch in recent months, and scored 89 in Australia's last warm-up game against Sri Lanka.

Former selector Mark Waugh has been among those urging that Warner should return to the top.

Khawaja said earlier this week he was not fussed on where he batted against Afghanistan.

"I'm in a place in my life and my career where I'm really enjoying my cricket," he said.


Usman Khawaja would benefit from Warner’s absence.
Usman Khawaja would benefit from Warner’s absence.

"It's a World Cup, I'm going to do my best whatever I have to do, whether I'm playing, whether I'm not playing, I want to do my best.

"There are some things I can't control, I've been in and out of the teams as much as anyone. It's a privilege to play for Australia so I'm just glad to be here."

Selectors must also decide on whether to opt for three quicks in Bristol, and if so whether Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson or Jason Behrendorff will join Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the attack.

Australia plays its first match at the Bristol County Ground. The short straight boundaries suggest it is going to be a high scoring game.

Meg Lanning scored 152no from 135 balls in the 2017 World Cup against Sri Lanka and a 102 from 98 balls against England, but the top scoring at the ground in the tournament was 178no by Sri Lanka's Chamari Atapattu against Australia in the same tournament from 143 balls.