50-50 chance for 1st Test: Warne

Published: Thursday, November 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne rated himself a 50-50 chance for the first Test against New Zealand later this month after missing the final match of the India series with a fractured thumb.

Warne said the thumb was still throbbing but he hoped to be fit to face the Kiwis in the Test beginning in Brisbane on November 18.

"I'd say I'm a 50-50 chance for Brisbane," he told reporters on Thursday. "If it heals quickly in the next couple of weeks, I should be fine."

Australian physiotherapist Errol Alcott said Warne's injury could take two to four weeks to heal.

A four-week recovery period would rule Warne out of the whole two Test series against New Zealand. The second test begins in Adelaide on November 26.

Warne confirmed his decision to cut the thumbguard out of his new set of batting gloves had contributed to his injury.

He was hit on the end of the thumb by a ball from young Indian spinner Ahmad Nizam, during batting practice in the lead up to the fourth Test in India.

"I took my thumbpiece out, an extra little rubber bit on your thumb," Warne said. "I've never been hit there so I took it out and it was much more comfortable.

"Then I got hit there -- I think I'll be putting the thumbguard back in now and putting a little bit of tape on it as well."

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