Australia are prepared to risk playing seasoned opener David Warner in the third Test against India even if he is not 100% fit, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday.

David Warner’s return will strengthen Australia’s batting in 3rd Test. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Warner was ruled out of first two Tests after tearing an adductor muscle
  • Australia’s batting failed miserably in first two Tests in Warner’s absence
  • The third Test is scheduled to be played in Sydney from January 7-11

Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald acknowledged that star opener David Warner may play the third Test vs India even if he is short of full fitness.

Warner missed the T20I series after picking up a groin strain in the ODI series against India. He was ruled out of the 1st Test due to the groin strain. While Warner arrived in Melbourne well ahead of the Boxing Day, Cricket Australia revealed that he was not fit enough to take the field in the recently concluded Boxing Day Test.

With opener Joe Burns dropped after a woeful Melbourne Test, Australia will have a new opening partnership as they look to rebound from an eight-wicket defeat and take a 2-1 lead in the series.

“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,” McDonald told reporters in a virtual conference.

“So there will be a conversation as we narrow into the 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.”

McDonald confirmed that Will Pucovski has resumed training and that he will join the team during the training session on January 2 and 3.

“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 the 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.”



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