Australia's David Warner gestures
Australia's David Warner is still a bit sore after being hit by a Mark Wood delivery at the ribs in the first Test. Image Credit: Reuters

Adelaide: Australia’s hero in the opening Ashes Test, Travis Head, has said ahead of the pink ball game in Adelaide from December 16 that opener David Warner was a “bit sore” after being struck on the ribs by a Mark Wood delivery during his first innings knock of 94 but added that the batting stalwart was in “good space” for the next match.

The hosts have already been hit by injury woes with pace bowler Josh Hazlewood being ruled out of the second Test and his return for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG from December 26 subject to fitness.

Warner, too, didn’t bat in the second innings of the first Test as Australia completed the run-chase of 20 runs in the sixth over to score a nine-wicket win over the Joe Root-led England.

Reports suggest that even while Warner’s ribs are “severely bruised”, scans have cleared him of any major injury, thus improving his chances of returing as opener in the pink-ball Test.


“I’m not sure if he’ll train (on Tuesday night),” Head was quoted as saying. “I haven’t been around the boys for a couple of days, but I flew home with him a couple of days ago, his family came to Adelaide which is nice, and he felt like he was in a good space. Obviously he’s a little bit sore. We didn’t take any risks with him.

“He was going to bat, but in the end our bowlers did a fantastic job to give him a day off. I think for him it’s just rest. I think he’s ready to go, so no issues with David,” added Head.

England captain Joe Root, meanwhile, backed Jack Leach and Rory Burns to bounce back from dismal Ashes performances, as star all-rounder Ben Stokes declared himself fit to carry the fight to Australia.

Root refused to rule out selecting spinner Leach in Thursday’s pink-ball Test in Adelaide, even though he conceded 102-1 from 13 overs as England stumbled to a nine-wicket loss in Brisbane.

England controversially rested veteran quicks Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad for the first Test but Root said the pair were “fit and ready to go” in Adelaide.

Leach’s meagre returns in Brisbane would normally see him dropped to make room in the attack, but England will want a specialised slow bowler for Adelaide’s traditionally spin-friendly wicket.

“We’ve obviously got some big decisions to make,” Root told reporters in Adelaide.

He said conditions did not suit Leach at the Gabba but Australia could pay the price if they continued to target him elsewhere.

“I’m sure he’ll want to respond and he’ll want to get back into the series and have an impact,” the England skipper said.

“Some of the grounds that we will be going to from this point onwards should offer a lot more for him and bring spin into it as well.”