Australia skipper Tim Paine is expecting the very best version of David Warner in the third Ashes Test against England at Headingley as the visitors look to cope in the absence of the injured Steve Smith.
Smith has been ruled out of the Leeds Test due to the concussion he picked up at Lord’s after being struck on the neck by a vicious Jofra Archer bouncer and his absence has increased the pressure on Warner who has so far failed to fire in the series.
Warner has been dismissed for single-digit scores in each of his four innings in the ongoing Ashes with the opening batsman’s struggles increasing the pressure on the rest of the batting order. Despite the southpaw’s horrendous form, Paine expects Smith’s absence to spur Warner into form at Leeds.
“Very confident,” Paine told cricket.com.au on the possibility of Warner returning to form.
“I’ve spoken a lot about the fact he averages close to fifty in Test cricket, and he’s done that over a long period of time. I think with Steve missing this game, it might be the little poke and prod that Davey needs.
“He likes that responsibility and my experience with Davey is when people doubt him and his back is against the wall, he comes out swinging. I’m expecting the very best David Warner this week.”
Smith’s absence will come as a big blow for Australia with the right-hander averaging 126 in the series after registering 378 runs in three innings and Warner will do well do fill those big boots when the third Ashes Test gets underway at Headingley on Thursday.
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