Australian fast-bowling great Glenn McGrath reckons that David Warner's inclusion will be a major boost for the Aussies in the third Test. He also said the batsmen will need to change their mindset to boost the dismal run-rate that hurt them in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Australian batsmen have scored at just 2.37 runs per over in the series so far. The team's run rate of 1.94 per over in their second innings in Melbourne was its slowest in a completed innings at home in almost 40 years.
Speaking in the press conference before the match, Glenn McGrath found the low scoring rate as the 'biggest issue' for the Aussies.
"It is going to be interesting to see whether David Warner is back to full fitness to play as usual. When he goes out batting, he is looking to score runs, he doesn't want to be tied down. It's quite unusual to see Australia go along at less than 2 runs per over
I think that's been the biggest issue the Australians have had. They haven't been proactive. They haven't shown the intent to score runs. So they need to change that mindset and maybe someone like David Warner coming back will allow them to do that," said Glenn McGrath.
The Aussies have also failed to cross the 200-run mark in the series so far while their opponents have done it twice. Many pundits and experts have been surprised to see the unusual batting performances from Australia.
"Will be interesting to see how Will Pucovski bats" - Glenn McGrath
Of Australia's top six from the opening two Tests, only Joe Burns had a strike rate of over 50.
Paradoxically, he is now out of the squad for the remaining matches. 22-year-old Will Pucovski is expected to replace Burns in Sydney.
Glenn McGrath talked about Pucovski's comeback challenge after sustaining a concussion in a tour game before the Test series.
"Potentially Will Pucovski will be playing his first Test match and opening alongside David Warner. That's going to be an interesting challenge as well because Pucovski scored a lot of runs at the start of the shield season back home and then he got hit in the head in the tour match
We will see how he comes back. I think the opening batsmen set the tone for the rest of the innings. The Australian openers have struggled a little bit and that has had an impact on the batting lineup," Glenn McGrath added.
The third Test will commence on Thursday, January 7.