Joe Root is set to play for England in Sunday’s (January 14) opening One-Day International in Melbourne after recovering from a viral illness but David Warner, the Australia opener, is troubled by a stomach bug.
Root was hospitalized on the final morning of the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney with gastroenteritis but Eoin Morgan, the England ODI skipper, said he would play in the series opener in Melbourne.
“Joe is good and should be fit to play tomorrow,” Morgan told reporters on Saturday. “He’s extremely important. He’s been a fantastic leader within the group and, on top of that, there’s the weight of runs he’s scored and the manner that he’s scored them.
“He’s obviously a key part. He’s a very versatile player and can score at any strike-rate that needs to be required, given the situation.”
But while Root was in better health, Warner, Australia’s vice-captain, missed the team’s final training session on Saturday and instead walked laps of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“I think he’s okay, he was having a bit of a gastro issue yesterday,” Steven Smith, Australia’s skipper, said.
“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, the No. 3-ranked ODI batsman, has been one of the game’s most dominant 50-over players, especially playing at home.
Australia: Steven Smith (capt), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Since Australia’s World Cup final win at the MCG in 2015, the left-hand opener has averaged more than 80 from 11 games in Australia, including five centuries.
Warner has scored 156, 144, 16, 103 and 86 in his past five innings at the ground in all formats.
He is the latest player to be struck down by illness in recent weeks, joining Smith and Patrick Cummins, his teammates, as well as Root, who have all been affected by stomach problems since Christmas.
England were thrashed 4-0 in the five-Test Ashes series but have had better results in the 50-over format.
They have a better record than any other team since the last World Cup, winning 34 of 53 matches.
England are the only team since the World Cup with a strike rate above a run a ball (6.3 per over), have scored the most totals in excess of 300 (24) and two of more than 400 while their batsmen have hit more fours and sixes than any other team.