Warner down as lurgy does the rounds

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David Warner became the latest player laid low by a bout of gastroenteritis in the clashes between Australia and England.

The Australia vice-captain did not take part in training on Saturday at the MCG but skipper Steve Smith expects him to play on Sunday.

England Test skipper Joe Root missed the end of the Ashes with a stomach bug and sat out the first fifty over warm up against a Cricket Australia XI.

Smith said after the training session in Melbourne: “I think he’s OK, he was having a bit of a gastro issue yesterday.

“He turned up here today and walked the oval a few times. He said he’ll be fine so I don’t think there’ll be any trouble there.”

Warner would be a big miss for Australia having returned three hundreds and a fifty in his last five innings at the MCG.

Smith is hoping the ODI side can find some consistency with the World Cup less than 18 months away.

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He said: “It’s a good opportunity for us to try and change our one-day cricket a bit. We have probably been hot and cold in the last 18 months and we want to set that right – a good opportunity starting here (on Sunday).”

The skipper backed young Travis Head to make a big impact in this series after a disappointing run of form in India.

Smith said: “I think he is a player with a really bright future. He is captain of his state, he has a good cricket brain, and we just need someone that has got some smarts there in the middle and play the right brand of cricket at the right time.

“Whilst he didn’t have his best time in India, he has played some really good cricket here at home. He looks like he is hitting the ball quite well. Hopefully, he can have a big impact for us in this series.”

The first ODI against England takes place on Sunday January 14 in Melbourne.