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Australia Prepared To Risk Warner In Sydney Even If Not Fully Fit

David Warner may play the third test against India even if he is short of full fitness as Australia look to the veteran opener to strengthen the top order, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: December 31, 2020, 9:06 AM IST
Australia Prepared To Risk Warner In Sydney Even If Not Fully Fit

MELBOURNE: David Warner may play the third test against India even if he is short of full fitness as Australia look to the veteran opener to strengthen the top order, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday.

Warner was ruled out of the first two tests in Adelaide and Melbourne after tearing an adductor muscle, but has been included in the 18-man squad for the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting on Jan. 7.

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.

McDonald said having Warner pad up if not completely fit would be a “clear option” and a matter for the player and head coach Justin Langer.

“He may not be 100%. Who is coming off an injury? You never know until you get out there,” McDonald told reporters on Thursday.

“Look, if he’s 90-95% fit and the conversation is that he’s fit enough to be able to go out there and perform his duties for the team, then I’m sure that’ll be a conversation the coach has with the player.

“Most times Justin is pretty open with the players in terms of giving them accountability around that.”

Uncapped opener Will Pucovski was also included in the squad and McDonald understood that to mean the youngster had cleared concussion protocols.

Pucovski, who has a history of concussion problems, was ruled out of the opening tests after being struck on the helmet with a bouncer in a tour match.

McDonald said he would be with the squad when they return to training in Melbourne from Jan. 2.

“It will just be a matter now of what training and how quickly he can ramp up to make himself available for selection,” he said.

Matthew Wade was promoted to open with Burns in the first two tests and made solid starts in three of his four innings without cracking a half-century.

McDonald praised Wade’s performance as a makeshift opener but said he felt his best position was in the middle order.



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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