By Ian Ransom
BRISBANE, Nov 22 : Australia captain Steve Smith has confirmed that opening batsman David Warner is a doubt to play in the Ashes opener against England after suffering a neck strain but has backed him to be fit for the match starting in Brisbane on Thursday.
Warner felt a twinge in his neck after going for a high catch during training at the Gabba on Tuesday but later eased fears about his fitness by batting in the nets.
Smith said the team were looking at a replacement to cover for Warner if he was unable to prove hit fitness in time.
“As I said, Davey’s confident that he’ll be OK,” Smith told reporters at the Gabba on Wednesday.
“There’s a good chance someone will be on cover but I’m not sure who at this stage.
“He’s confident that he’ll be OK.” Smith also confirmed the Australia pace trio line-up of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, meaning the 11 will be as expected barring Warner’s possible replacement.
Team: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon.