David Warner's manager, James Erskine, hit back at former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson, who questioned the left-handed batter getting a Test farewell despite his struggles in red-ball cricket and accused him of not owning up to his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
Earlier this year, Warner stated his intentions to retire from the Test format at his home ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in the series against Pakistan.
Writing for The West Australian, Johnson said that Warner's current form and his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, also known as the 'Sandpaper Gate' do not justify him getting a "hero's send-off".
Erskine hit back at Johnson, stating that his questioning Warner's selection isn't logical.
"Let me tell you, anyone can get a headline. The fact is [Warner's selection] is just logical. The three [replacement] candidates will be [Matthew] Renshaw, [Cameron] Bancroft -- who has played pretty well in the Sheffield Shield -- and [Marcus] Harris. Now they've all had spells opening the batting for Australia,' Erskine told the The Sydney Morning Herald.
He further went on to point out that the trio of Harris, Bancroft and Renshaw had managed to claim just one century between them in 38 Test outings and their combined average was somewhere in the mid-20s.
Erskine backed Warner's performance, stating that he scored a half-century during his last Test innings in the Ashes and was the leading run-scorer for the Baggy Greens in the ODI World Cup.
"But he doesn’t want a swansong, he thinks he’s the best guy for the job. I think the figures show it. If he goes and gets two ducks in the first two Tests then they’ll drop him, but, you know, he won’t.
"Warner has played 109 Test matches and has a (career) average of 44.4, got over 8500 runs. David is in good form. Thank God Mitchell Johnson isn't a Test selector," Erskine told foxsports.com.au.
Australia's squad for first Test vs Pak: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, and David Warner.