Veteran Australia opener David Warner will be drafted back into the playing XI for the third Test against India in Sydney despite himself admitting that he isn’t yet fully fit. Australia have dropped Joe Burns, who has struggled for rhythm and confidence through most of the series and both Warner and Will Pucovski, who suffered from a concussion during a tour game before the series began, are in contention for the opening slot alongside Matthew Wade, who impressed as a makeshift option. However, Wade himself has admitted that it seems likelier that Warner will get the nod ahead of Pucovski in what is a must-win encounter for the home team.
“We expect David to play, so it’ll either be me opening with him or they’ll make a change. I’m not sure it’ll be me and Will. I’ll give myself a good chance," Wade told reporters on Sunday.
Earlier, Warner had admitted that him being selected for the match would hinge upon how much he could contribute to the team’s cause while in the field.
“I think it’s about being smart," the 34-year-old, who usually fields in the slips, told reporters.
“If I feel like I can do my duty … not be a hindrance in there in the field … I think that’s going to determine whether I play or not.
“I know I can manage the running between wickets (and) the shot-making that I have, it’s whether or not I am able to have that capacity of catching the ball right and left of myself … I’ve got to be agile enough to take those chances."
Meanwhile, the hosts will be without the services of pacer James Pattinson for the upcoming Test after he picked up an injury while at home.
Pattinson was on approved leave after the second Test and suffered a fall that ended up causing heavy bruising in the ribs.
He will not be replaced in the squad, however, as Australia already have both Sean Abbott and Michael Neser in the side should a replacement be needed for the trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
The four-match series between India and Australia is currently tied 1-1 after Australia won the first match at Adelaide and India rebounded to win the second Test at Adelaide. The third Test is set to get underway from January 7.