Cricket Australia regular opener David Warner and uncapped australian player Will Pucovski have joined the team before the third test against India. Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald hinted that David Warner could play in the third test on January 7 even if he is not fit 100%.
David Warner suffered from groin injury in the second ODI and he was ruled out from third ODI, the T20I series and the first two test matches. In his absence, Australian wicket-keeper Mathew Wade opened the innings for Australia with Out of form Joe Burns. Although, Burns has been dropped from the last two test matches and Will Pucovski has return in the squad.
Andrew McDonald said, “I think that is a clear option that he may not be 100% fit. He is coming off an injury. If he is 90-95% and the conversation is that if he is fit enough to perform his duties for the team. That is the conversation the head coach (Justin Langer) will have with the player and most times Justin has been pretty open with the players, giving them accountability.”
“So there will be a conversation as we narrow in to first ball of the third Test. We will get an idea when he comes to the camp on the 2nd and 3rd (January)… we are encouraged that he is back. I am sure he is excited to come to the game.”
“He is a world-class player. His strike rate is higher than most world class players around the world and he can put pressure on the bowling attacks as well.” He added.
Australia has Matthew Wade, Marcus Harris, David Warner and Will Pucovski as openers options for the remaining tests. Although, McDonald refused to confirm who will open the innings from these players in 3rd test. It will depend on Warner and Pucovski fitness.
He further said, “Wade has done a great job as a makeshift opener. Don’t think he opened in junior cricket too. It is something that was foreign to him. He has done a great job. But the combination – if we go in with Wade and Warner will depend on Will Pucovski, where he is at. We have also got Marcus Harris there.”
“I would suggest that Wade’s best batting position is in the middle. He has batted a lot in the middle-order and that is where he is best suited. Having said that he hasn’t really looked out of place at the top so yeah there is a potential that he could come out and open again.”
“The head coach (Justin Langer) has had some deeper conversation with him over where he is. Positive sign is he is joining us in the next couple of days. He will have sessions on second and third. And then we travel to Sydney.”
“He is resuming some light-work. He will be tested thoroughly here in the build-up to the third Test. We are assuming that since he has been added to the squad, he has met the concussion protocols.” He added.