The flamboyant all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been included in the Australian Test squad, a day before the series opener, to cover doubtful vice-captain David Warner on Wednesday, confirmed by Cricket Australia (CA), who believes Warner will be fit for the match.
The opening batsman was uncomfortable during Australia’s 30-minute net session on Wednesday after suffering a sore in his neck on Tuesday. However, the batsman, himself, is sure that he will end playing the first Test at the Gabba.
“I don’t think a stiff neck is going to keep me out,” said Warner.
If he misses the first match, Shaun Marsh will pair up with Cameron Bancroft as an opener, while Maxy will play at number six. Captain Steve Smith also cleared that Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers would miss the opening encounter unless something happens with the troika of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins, who will be seen leading the Australian line-up together for the first time in Test.
Smith’s deputy is feeling some stiffness whenever he moved his head backward. The southpaw believes that he can adopt the stance of former West Indian legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul. While elaborating it, Smith said “He said he’ll even bat like Shivnarine Chanderpaul if he has to and face the other way, so I think he’ll be alright.”
“It’s improved a fair bit over the last 24 hours. Hopefully he can keep improving and he’ll be 100 per cent come 10 o’clock in the morning,” he concluded.
The first match of Ashes will commence in Brisbane’s Gabba from Thursday. England is the current holder of the urn but Australia is entering in the battle as favorites on their home soil and will try to replicate the dominance of Ashes 2013-14.