Melbourne: Opener David Warner could play the third Test in Sydney beginning January 7 even if he is not 100% fit, hinted Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald.
Warner suffered a groin injury during the second One-day International (ODI) and was ruled out of the final ODI, the T20I series as well as the first two Test matches leaving Australia to open the Test innings with makeshift opener Matthew Wade and an out-of-form Joe Burns.
Burns has since been dropped from the squad while young uncapped opener Will Pucovski, who missed the first two Tests due to concussion-related problems, has been included in the squad for the last two Tests. Warner too returns.
"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," said McDonald.
"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."
Australia will have to pick from Will Pucovski, Matthew Wade and Marcus Harris as Warner's opening partners if the left-hander returns to the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Mc Donald refused to confirm what pair will open but said that they will look at the fitness of both Pucovski and Warner when Aussie nets resume in Melbourne on January 2nd and 3rd. IANS
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