Cricket legend Mark Taylor has implored Australian selectors to make a decision either way on the Test future of David Warner.
Warner, 36, flew home from India during the week to recover from concussion and an elbow fracture sustained during the first innings in Delhi.
He had returned scores of one, 10, and 15 in the first two Tests, failing to repay the faith of selectors who had ignored suggestions the veteran opener should be dropped for the tour, given his measly record there.
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Warner averages only 21.78 from 10 matches in India.
His form has been mostly cold for the best part of three years – a double hundred against South Africa in Melbourne breaking a long drought of triple-figure scores.
Australia’s next tour is to England, where Warner averages 26.04 and will be haunted by a nightmare Ashes series there in 2019, in which he averaged only 9.50.
“Is it time to start thinking about the future? You don’t normally do it around Ashes time, normally you would do it post-Ashes,” Taylor told Nine’s Sports Sunday.
“Normally you take a very settled side to England, with maybe one batter you think is going to be your future, and that’s the side you pick.
“We’re not quite there at the moment and they’re not sure which way they are going to go.”
Warner has been a lock at the top of Australia’s batting order for the best part of a decade.
Warner aiming for Ashes return
His incumbent opening partner, Usman Khawaja, had a stellar 2022 season and so will not be axed from the team ahead of the Ashes, despite also struggling in India.
But if selectors are considering axing Warner – potentially ending his Test career – there are a couple of contenders waiting for a chance.
Matt Renshaw was recalled to the Test side over the summer and has gone with them to India, but struggled for runs.
Cameron Bancroft looms as the bolter for the Ashes tour given his four Sheffield Shield centuries this season, the latest coming during the week in Tasmania.
Taylor just wants selectors to make a decision.
“Dave has come out and said he wants to be around until 2024, so he wants to go to England later this year, he wants to play in Australia next summer,” Taylor said.
Warner’s Test future in doubt
“So he has really thrown the ball over to (selectors) George Bailey, Tony Dodemaide, (and captain) Pat Cummins, the selectors to say ‘OK what do you want to do?’.
“To me, the selectors have got to make a decision.
“Whether they take David Warner and one of probably Bancroft or Renshaw to England, and Dave would be the first opener picked.
“Or they make a decision now and say righto, we’re going to take the two younger guys… we’re going to make a change right now.
“That’s the decision they’ve got to make. Dave has said, ‘OK, over to you, I am available, I want to play’.”
With Warner already ruled out of the remaining two Tests in India, selectors have until June to make a decision.
The Aussies then head to England to play the World Test Championship final, followed by the Ashes.
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