FAMOUS FACE: Australian cricketer David Warner faces a delivery by former Sri Lankan spinner Muttaiah Muralitharan during a practice session in Colombo.
FAMOUS FACE: Australian cricketer David Warner faces a delivery by former Sri Lankan spinner Muttaiah Muralitharan during a practice session in Colombo. Eranga Jayawardena

Warner expected to be fit to face Sri Lanka

CRICKET: Injured opening batsman David Warner is expected to be fit to play in Australia’s first Test against Sri Lanka, starting in Kandy on Tuesday.

The vice-captain is recovering from a broken finger suffered in last month’s ODI series in the West Indies.

“We’re preparing for him to play,” Australian coach Darren Lehmann said. “He’s been batting the last couple of days and I can’t see a problem.

“I haven’t really spoken to the medical staff ... they usually come up to me if there is some sort of issue.”

Lehmann said the team would also wait until they arrived in Kandy and viewed the pitch before settling on their bowling attack, though Stephen O’Keefe is expected to play as the second spinner behind incumbent Nathan Lyon after his 10-wicket haul in this week’s tour match.

“(He) obviously complements Nathan well spinning it the other way,” Lehmann said of the left-armer. “We think that’s the way to go.

“Obviously India do it there with (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin and most teams have spinners going both ways ... for us that’s important.”

Australia’s third seamer from their most recent Test in New Zealand, Jackson Bird, will be the unlucky bowler with Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood to spearhead the attack, and Mitch Marsh the all-rounder.


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