File image of David Warner© AFP
Defending champions Australia’s build-up to the T20 World Cup suffered a big blow after their star opener David Warner on Friday pulled out of the third T20I against England with a stiff neck. Before they open their campaign against New Zealand on October 22, Australia will face India in a warm-up game next Tuesday in Brisbane. “I’m a bit stiff this morning. I obviously had a pretty heavy fall the other day. I’ve never had whiplash before. It’s pulled up real stiff,” Warner, who was the player of the tournament in their triumphant T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE last year, told Fox Cricket.
Steve Smith was called in as his replacement in their third and final T20I.
The 35-year-old, who has been in sizzling form with two half-centuries in three matches, had a concussion scare in their second T20I against England at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
Warner landed awkwardly on the point boundary while attempting a Moeen Ali catch and was replaced by Smith.
The left-handed batter, however, passed the concussion test and opened alongside captain Aaron Finch, only to be dismissed by English seamer Reece Topley for four in the fifth over.
England won the match by eight runs to lead the series 2-0.
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