Australia likely to play Warner even if not fully fit
Australian opener David Warner will likely play the third Test against India at the SCG even if he doesn't attain full fitness. Notably, they are willing to take this risk in order to bolster the top-order, which presently looks bleak. The star batsman was recently added to Australia's squad for the rest of the matches. He has been recuperating from a grueling groin injury.
Speaking on the same, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said, "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 open with the players in terms of giving them accountability around that."
Warner, on Wednesday, was named in Australia's squad for the remaining two Tests. Due to a groin injury, Australia missed his services in the first two Tests. Notably, Joe Burns and Matthew Wade were the makeshift openers in the two games. However, while announcing the team, Cricket Australia selector Trevor Hohns revealed that Warner will likely play in the SCG Test.
Warner's inclusion in the set-up is certainly a boost for the batting segment, which stumbled in the Boxing Day Test. Notably, none of the Aussie batsmen registered 50+ scores in the match. However, he carries the propensity to single-handedly turn the tide. Interestingly, Warner owns 732 runs from eight Tests at an average of a prolific 66.54 at the SCG, including four tons.
Australia's scoring rate has been held at 2.52 of late, their slowest in a home series since 1986/87. In this case, Warner's inclusion will help the plight of Aussies. He might give the hosts the start they are looking for.
Reflecting on it, McDonald asserted the return of Warner in Sydney might not turn the tables instantly. "I don't think we should be narrowing it into that the batting unit hasn't had the intent. The bowling has been dominant in this series. If you look at both teams, both teams have really struggling to get this scoreboard rattling along.," he concluded.