Australian coach Darren Lehmann leaves outcast opener dangling.
Despite blasting 193 against South Africa A, Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann said he was no closer to handing David Warner his first cap of the current Ashes series.
Warner was made an outcast from the rest of the touring side after several off-field incidents, highlighted by his fight with Joe Root in a pub in Birmingham.
Before that, he was seen to be a shoe-in to open the batting for Australia alongside Shane Watson.
Lehmann said Warner had achieved one criteria he is asking more of his current side, bat for longer and turn starts into big scores.
But with just three days before the start of the third Test, Lehmann said he is yet to make up his mind what his final XI will be.
“He’s not a certainty no,” Lehmann said of Warner, who has rejoined the Ashes tour after returning from Africa.
“He got 193 and played well, did exactly what we wanted him to do. We want blokes to make hundreds and he’s ticked that box.
“Again we’ll have to look at the wicket and we come up with the top six.”
Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes are under the most pressure for their places in the side, having labored in the first two Tests, where the touring side’s top-order was found out by the England attack.
The Australian bowling stocks are set to undergo some changes, with a fast-bowler to be recalled in the wake of the stress fracture injury to James Pattinson.
However, with the Old Trafford pitch again expected to be dry and conducive for spin, Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon may play alongside each other.
But in a further worrying sign as the pain possibly go head-to-head with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, both Lyon and Agar only claimed two wickets between them in their recent game against Sussex.
“I don’t mind spinners getting hit for boundaries off good balls,” Lehmann said.
“I thought Ash bowled okay but he could have bowled better, Nathan could have bowled better at stages as well.
“That’s is the case on a good wicket that doesn’t turn much, that that can happen to spinners.
“For a 19-year-old he (Agar) has been outstanding. He is a good young man. We’d love him to get more wickets. That might be next week.
“I was impressed with the way he bowled at Notts (in the first Test). I thought he bowled quite well.
“He had a problem with his hip in the second Test match and struggled through that. But he knows he didn’t bowl well enough, not the standard we’re after, so he needs to get it right pretty quickly.”
England only need a draw from the third Test at Old Trafford to retain Ashes still with two games left.