David Warner has missed a chance to nail down a spot at the top of Australia’s World Cup order, falling for a duck after he was promoted to opener in a World Cup warm-up game in Brisbane.
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc will return from a pectoral injury to lead an Australian XI attack later in the day against New Zealand.
Warner was named to open alongside captain Aaron Finch in the second of three practice matches against the Black Caps, with Usman Khawaja sliding down to No.3.
But Warner lasted just six balls, chipping a drive to cover in a limp exit at Allan Border Field.
Not what David Warner was hoping for in his return to the opening position today, out for a duck against the Kiwis in Brisbane pic.twitter.com/zDJbYB2Gry
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) May 8, 2019
Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile have been rested for the clash after the trio each took three wickets in Monday’s tight win.
Starc was sidelined after the Canberra Test in February but has trained strongly off his long run in Brisbane this week.
He will bowl on Wednesday, less than a month out from the start of Australia’s World Cup defence, against an understrength New Zealand team missing regular skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Trent Boult.
Warner batted at No.3 on Monday in his return from a year-long suspension after the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, surviving some nervous early moments to compile an impressive 39.
Former captain Steve Smith (22) was more circumspect in his comeback at No.4. On Wednesday, batting at No.5, he punched a perfect drive back past the bowler and followed that with a lofted six over mid-off.
Glenn Maxwell returns to the 12-man team for the unofficial match at No.6 while Nathan Lyon will take over the spinning duties from the rested Adam Zampa.
Warner belted 692 runs in 12 IPL innings before he joining the Australian squad, mounting a compelling case for a return to the top of the order despite the rousing form of Khawaja and Finch during an eight-game ODI winning streak.
Coach Justin Langer has remained coy on who will open the batting on June 1 against Afghanistan in Bristol, with this week’s practice games in Brisbane no clear gauge of what to expect in England.
Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Sean Abbott, Nathan Lyon, Kane Richardson.
New Zealand: Hamish Rutherford, George Worker, Will Young, Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett.
Meanwhile Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson has been removed from the World Cup squad as he continues to recover from a dislocated shoulder.
Richardson will focus his recovery efforts on the Ashes.
Still hopeful of joining the Australia A tour of England before the first Ashes Test on August 1, he has been replaced in the squad by Kane Richardson.
“This is obviously very disappointing news for the team and for Jhye, who has been exceptional throughout his rehabilitation,” team physiotherapist David Beakley said.
“After his most recent assessment and attempting to bowl in the nets, it was clear that Jhye was not progressing as fast as required and therefore, in consultation with selectors, we made the decision to withdraw him from the squad.”