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Ashes 2023 – David Warner battles badly bruised hand for half-century

David Warner battled through the pain of a badly bruised hand at Lord’s and will have the injury reassessed after the match although was never in doubt to play this game.

Warner has taken multiple blows on his hands in recent weeks, including from Mohammed Shami in the World Test Championship and more recently against throwdowns from batting coach Michael Di Venuto in the nets, while he is also carrying a bruised palm from catching.

However, his 66 off 88 balls was vital in setting Australia a strong platform after being sent in at Lord’s on an overcast day although he did survive a chance to slip when Ollie Pope spilled him on 20 off Stuart Broad.

“It’s copped a battering the last two games, and in the nets, so it’s little bit sore at the moment, bit of a bruise but I’ll just see how we go after the game and I think we’ll examine it then,” Warner said. “At the moment it’s quite tender.

“[I was] never in doubt, [but] it was quite sore. Initially it was more in the palm, I’ve got a hotspot where my thumb is and every time the ball hits the bat it just jars. Then today I got hit back in the knuckle which I think Mohammed Shami hit me [on] in that World Test Championship.

“I’ve had my hand in an ice bucket all afternoon, so we’ll play it by ear and assess it after the game.”

Warner’s half-century continued an encouraging first half of the England tour for him even though a major score continues to prove elusive. He made 43 in the first innings against India and 36 in the second innings at Edgbaston last week.

Barring his hand injury being more serious than thought he is now certain to see out the Ashes tour and looks likely to get the Sydney farewell against Pakistan early next year that he mapped out when he arrived in the UK.

“I’ve felt in total control the last six to eight months with where my game is. I’m moving into the ball, my feet are moving, not just playing with my hands,” he said.

“I felt like I was onto something special in the World Test Championship final. And then last game, same thing. I feel like everything I’m putting in in the nets is actually coming out there in the middle.

“I’m excited by it and I think if I can keep getting myself in and keep that momentum going with my feet, a big one could be around the corner.”

Warner even twice attempted to sweep Broad from outside off stump, something he has been working on in the nets. “With the white ball I play it quite a bit,” he said. “Always said in the back of my mind if they set a field where the guy was squarer and they try to hit their lengths then I’d play it. It is risky, but in the back of my mind I’m trying to put them off their line and length.”

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