David Warner has passed a concussion test following a painful bouncer blow to the neck during Australia’s intra-squad game in Darwin.
Warner retired hurt and threw a major scare into the Australian camp on day two of the match, its final tune-up before departing for a two-Test tour of Bangladesh.
The vice-captain was on two when he attempted a hook shot but misread a short-pitched delivery from Test teammate Josh Hazlewood.
Warner momentarily hit the deck, seemingly a result of the momentum of the stroke as much as the impact of the ball, but almost instantly got back on his feet.
As Hazlewood and skipper Steve Smith rushed to check on his welfare, Warner dropped his bat, removed his helmet and walked off unassisted.
Warner will be assessed for concussion on Wednesday morning as per Cricket Australia’s protocols.
But the early signs were all positive, suggesting Warner is unlikely to be in any doubt for the first Test that starts on August 27.
It came as a relief to all teammates.
“He’s a little bit sore and stiff in the neck but, just speaking to him then, he’s all fine,” Pat Cummins said after play.
“It’s never the intent (to hit a batsman)… but it’s just one of those things that happens.
“It’s only a practice match, so he may or may not be out there tomorrow but he seems to be in pretty good shape.”
The incident served as the latest reminder of the dangers of the sport that were highlighted so tragically by the death of Phillip Hughes, a close friend of Warner, in 2014.
Hughes was struck on the neck by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match and died in hospital two days later.
The setback came as Warner tumbled out of the International Cricket Council’s top-10 ranked Test batsmen for the first time in more than two years.
Smith had no such concerns, in Dubai or Darwin.
The world’s No.1 batsman declared after scoring 84 with ease on Tuesday against an attack featuring Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar.
South Australia captain Travis Head, who is not part of the Test squad and is playing as a ring-in, scored 104 on a dusty deck that is starting to misbehave.