Australian Test great Glenn McGrath says the “vultures are circling” battling opener David Warner and his dream of an SCG send-off may be taken away from him by selectors.
Having been terrorised by English opening bowler Stuart Broad early in the five-Test series, 36-year-old Warner has now become the bunny of Chris Woakes, dismissed by him three times in a row, including for a paltry 24 in the first innings at The Oval.
Despite bettering his horror-show Ashes in 2019, when Warner scored just 95 runs for the series, the left-hander has battled in what will be his final series in England, scoring just 225 runs through nine innings so far.
Warner has made less runs in his five Tests than Mitch Marsh (228) has in two so far, with the all-rounder yet to bat in his third appearance in London.
Before the fifth Test, Warner dismissed rumours he was going to call it quits at the end of the Ashes, maintaining he wanted to play the home Test series against Pakistan and retire at the SCG.
But his waning output moved McGrath to suggest that may not happen.
“He looked OK (in the first innings), but then got out again,” McGrath said.
“I know he came out the other day and said he wanted to play it to the end of next summer. But I think the pressure is on him, the vultures are circling.
“Unless he comes out in the second dig and produces a big score, I think he might struggle.”
Warner has passed 50 just once in the series and his 200 in last summer’s Boxing Day Test was his only triple-figure Test score since January 2020.
McGrath said that’s not enough to keep out the likes of Matthew Renshaw and Marcus Harris, both potential opening batter replacements, any longer.
“Unfortunately, he‘s got a lot of starts this series and then just gets out,” McGrath told SEN.
“I‘m not sure what’s there, the timing is not quite there.
“He had that big innings back in Australia on Boxing Day where he got the 200, but there hasn’t been a sort of real big score before or after that for quite some time.
“He‘s probably feeling the pressure, he still talks it up and says he’s going fine and this and that, but he’s got to put the runs on the board unfortunately.”
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