Australian star David Warner has revealed he is in Sydney after posting a series of photos suggesting he went to Bali with his family.
In a bizarre series of posts, Warner shared photos of himself and daughters on a plane with the caption, “Bali here we come”.
WATCH THE VIDEO: David Warner plays cheeky game of cat and mouse as retirement alarm bells ring.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with Australia’s Home of Cricket on 7plus >>
He also posted two photos from Rock Bar.
The 36-year-old was not present at Australia’s optional training session in Brisbane on Tuesday, which added fuel to the speculation.
But it turns out it was an elaborate hoax with the under-pressure batter confirming he is in Sydney later on Tuesday.
Warner will play his 100th Test match on Boxing Day and is only the 13th Australian to reach the milestone; however his future beyond the current series against South Africa remains unknown.
During the first Test, the aggressive left-hander made scores of 0 and 3 against South Africa in Brisbane and never looked comfortable at the crease.
He has not scored a Test century since January 2020, averaging 26.07 with the bat, and has not scored a hundred in 27 consecutive innings.
Preceding the South Africa Test series, Warner was expected to dominate against a modest West Indies side in the two-Test series.
However, Warner had a top score of 48 and a batting average of 25.5 for the series.
The numbers don’t look good compared to fellow batters who cashed in against the Windies – Marnus Labuschage (highest score 204, average 167), Travis Head (highest score 175, average 156), Steve Smith (highest score 200 not out, average 128) and Usman Khawaja (highest score 65, average 45).
Publicly, Australia’s selectors are backing Warner to find form and continue to open the batting for the tour of India, the World Test Championship and Ashes next year.
“I personally think there’s runs around the corner for him,” national selector George Bailey said.
“No doubt, and David would be the first to say this, he’d like a few more runs and to be contributing a bit more knowing the importance of that role at the top of the order. But I have full confidence that it will come.
“He’s moving well. He’s catching well. When people start to go – for want of a better way to put it – it’s the catching that goes, the movement goes.
“But he’s still an outstanding fielder, still fit as a fiddle.”
Speaking before the South Africa series begun, Captain Pat Cummins backed Warner to find form.
“Opening the batting’s not easy so I’m backing him for a big series,” Cummins said.
“It’s only two weeks ago he got a 100 … at the MCG.
“Different format obviously (in an ODI) but it was a tough wicket so he’s looking good and I’m sure runs will follow.”
Former Australian all-rounder Simon O’Donnell believes “it’s time” Warner retired from Test cricket.
“I think he’d (Warner) be contemplating and possibly should (retire) at the end of the Sydney Test,” O’Donnell told SEN Breakfast.
“We’re not talking about David Warner in the last few innings, we’re talking about David Warner in the last two years, he hasn’t been the same player he was prior to then.
“That indicates to me that if David found form again, it’s not going to be for long.”