Clarke says `bad boy` Warner`s form could bag him Ashes opener spot
Sydney: Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that suspended batsman David Warner match-winning form will overcome his lack of competitive cricket when the selectors consider the XI for the Ashes opener at Trent Bridge.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Warner`s suspension for punching England`s Joe Root had restricted him to the nets, although he is now available for selection.
However, the report added that Cricket Australia (CA) would struggle to explain the inconsistencies in punishments after four players missed a Test in India for failing to complete their homework, should Warner edge out Steve Smith for the No.6 spot.
However, Clarke has promoted the prospect of Warner walking straight back into the team for the first Test, saying that he does not need time to play in the middle to be ready for the historic series, and dismissed suggestions that picking Warner at Trent Bridge would downplay the seriousness of his crime.
Although Warner had been warned about his loose behavior long before taking a swing at Root and also about his physical conditioning, but Clarke suggested he had been more disciplined since the Walkabout incident, adding that he has had a number of net sessions and looks much fitter than he has been before.
Clarke also said that Warner had understood the consequences of his action and has handled himself well after the incident, adding that he is satisfied with the way Warner has been performing so far even though he had reached double figures only twice in his past nine innings across the ICC Champions Trophy and the Indian Premier League.
According to Clarke, he does not believe that Warner, who averaged 46 last summer in the Test format, is the type of player that needs two four-day games to make some runs to feel confident, adding that he is confident that the troubled batsman can make a ton in the first Test if he is selected.
As the Australian team headed to Nottingham to prepare for the Ashes, Clarke further said that he believes that Warner had served his punishment, adding that there is no chance that he will not be selected because of his ban as it has been dealt with.
Clarke would not confirm where he intends to bat in the series but he spent both tour matches at No.4 and hit a sparkling 124 in his second game after three months sidelined with his back injury, the report added.