Australian captain Tim Paine has admitted that veteran opener David Warner looks all set to play in the SCG Test against India starting Thursday. He, however, added that the final XI hasn’t been announced as they are having an optional training session.
Both David Warner and 22-year-old Will Pucovski were included in the Australia squad for the last two Tests against India while the out-of-form Joe Burns was dumped.
Cricket.com.au quoted Tim Paine as saying at a media conference:
"We've got a team but we're just not releasing it at the moment," Paine said in a media conference this morning. The boys are still training so we'll get through that first, unscathed and then we'll try to get a team out as quickly as we can after that.”
The 36-year-old also hinted that David Warner’s comeback might not be the only change in the playing XI for SCG. He added:
"Obviously with David (Warner) playing and potentially more, there's some conversations that need to be had first."
While David Warner is all but certain to make a return from injury, Pucovski is most likely to be his opening partner at the SCG. If chosen in the playing XI, Pucovski will finally make his international debut, something he was primed to do at the start of the Test series, before suffering his ninth concussion.
Paine did not confirm his inclusion but stated that Pucovski will likely open with David Warner if he is a part of the playing XI. The move will see Matthew Wade returning to the middle-order, with the out-of-form Travis Head set to be dropped.
Both David Warner and Pucovski batted together in the nets at the SCG on Tuesday, giving another indication of Australia’s thought process going into the third Test.
“David Warner is a player that you love having on your side”: Tim Paine
Praising David Warner, skipper Paine said that the experienced opener brings high intensity and gives his teammates confidence. He stated:
“He's a player that you love having on your side. He's always got plenty to say, really energetic, very professional and I've always loved playing. He's a player in this team guys love to have in the side, so he's made an instant impact with that energy and intensity that he brings.”
Paine said that Pucovski has also been fantastic and added that the 22-year-old is looking forward to the challenge of Test cricket. He stated:
"He's (Pucovski) been out of the bubble for a couple of weeks, so he's excited, he's fresh and he's been batting really well in the nets and looks ready to go if he's called upon."
The third Test between India and Australia starts on Thursday, January 7. While Australia won the first game at Adelaide by eight wickets, India clinched victory by a similar margin in the Boxing Day Test.Published 06 Jan 2021, 08:40 IST