Australia coach Andrew McDonald tips Warner for ‘significant’ role in summer’s Ashes in England | Cricket News

Australia coach Andrew McDonald has thrown his support behind opener David Warner, tipping him for a “significant” role in this summer’s Ashes, live on Sky Sports.

Warner, 36, has just one Test century in the past three-and-a-half years – a cathartic 200 against South Africa during the 2022 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Three cheap dismissals and a fractured elbow during the subsequent tour of India invited speculation that his 103-cap career could be coming to a close, with Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris and Travis Head all options at the top of the order.

But he was named in Australia’s squad for next month’s World Test Championship final against India, as well as the first two Tests against England, and appears to have McDonald’s faith.

“We’re optimistic with what Dave’s got left,” McDonald told SEN Radio.

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Highlights of the Indian Premier League game between the Delhi Capitals and the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Warner to the fore

“We’ve picked him in the squad and we feel that he’s going to play a really significant part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship final.

“That’s why he’s on the plane. We think he’s got some good games left in him. He’s clearly in our plans.

“He knows exactly where he sits with us and internally we’re really settled around what we need to do and how we’re going to go about it.”

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Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton takes a closer look at Australia’s Ashes squad and expects England to target Warner

England bowler Stuart Broad said this week he was excited to renew his rivalry with the left-hander, having dismissed him seven times in 10 innings during a 2019 Ashes series that saw Warner average just 9.5.

McDonald prefers to focus on better days and is confident Warner can acquit himself well.

“In 2015, I think it was eight half-centuries and he averaged mid-40s. So, he’s had success there. It’s not as though he hasn’t had success in those conditions,” said McDonald.

“We’re backing him to draw on everything that he’s got. Leading into the Boxing Day Test the doomsday people were out there as well.”

Starc hits back at Broad’s ‘void’ Ashes claim

Mitchell Starc has not taken kindly to Stuart Broad’s suggestion that Australia’s 4-0 Ashes victory over England in 2021/22 was ‘void’ due to the impact of Covid restrictions at the time.

The talking has started. It finally feels like summer.

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail the England bowler suggested “nothing about that series was high-level performance” as a result of travel and social limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, leading him to deem it as “void” and “not a real Ashes”.

“The funniest thing out of that was they called it quarantine on the Gold Coast,” Starc told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Stuart Broad says he knows England will fancy themselves to win the Ashes this summer

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Broad and James Anderson ask The Sky Sports Ashes AI Bot how to get Australia’s Steve Smith out!

“I did seven of them. That was the easiest by a country mile. They had the pool, the gym, they were in a resort on the Gold Coast, they weren’t confined to their rooms and had their families there.

“Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of.”

Watch every match from the men’s and women’s Ashes live on Sky Sports. You can also follow videos and over-by-over text commentary across Sky Sports’ digital platforms. Live coverage of the first Test is live from June 16-20 on Sky Sports Cricket.

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