Australia captain Aaron Finch said opener David Warner had been “shaken up” after his drive hit a net bowler in the head ahead of Sunday’s game against India.
Australia’s practice session at the Oval came to an abrupt halt when the bowler, Jaykishan Plaha, dropped to the ground after being hit on the head as he tried to stop opener Warner’s drive off a half-volley. Finch said Plaha was in “pretty good spirits” but the incident had rattled Warner.
“Yeah, Dave was obviously pretty shaken up,” Finch said. “The young guy seems to be in pretty good spirits at the moment. He’s obviously been taken off to hospital and will continue to be assessed just to make sure that everything is OK. But yeah, Dave was pretty shaken up, no doubt.
“It was a decent hit to the head. Hopefully everything keeps going well for the youngster and he’s back up and running shortly. It was tough to watch.”
In 2014, Warner was playing in the Sheffield Shield match in which his friend Phillip Hughes was fatally hit in the neck by a bouncer while batting. Hughes underwent emergency surgery but died two days later, three days before his 26th birthday.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, Finch said his side drew plenty of confidence from the way they batted against the spinners during their 3-2 one-day international series victory in India in March.
“They’ve got some all-time great players. So to be able to beat them in their home conditions three times in a row was really important for the confidence of the side, especially going into a game like this,” he said.
Australia will again need to find a way to negate the threat posed by India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah.
Finch said Australia had done their homework and there was no need to overhaul technique to face the Indian quick with an unusual whiplash action.
“You do your due diligence on every bowler every game. He’s world class. He’s had a lot of success, especially over the last 18, 24 months,” he said.
“All the guys are as well prepared mentally and technically as they can be. It’s too quick to be tinkering with technique and things like that.”
As for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who claimed four for 51 in India’s opener against South Africa, the plan would be to deny him any early success, Finch said.
“He bowled well against South Africa. If you deny leg-spinners wickets early, they start to go searching. I’ve never met a leg-spinner who didn’t.”