A struggling Australia is prepared to risk playing seasoned opener David Warner in the third Test against India even if he is not 100% fit, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday.
The third Test is scheduled to be played in Sydney from January 7-11.
In the absence of Warner, who was recovering from a groin muscle tear, Australia’s batting failed miserably in the first two matches.
“That’’s a real, clear option. He may not be 100 per cent fit — who is, coming off an injury! You never know until you get out there,” McDonald said during a virtual press conference.
Warner has been named in the squad along with Victorian young gun Will Pucovski for the third Test as Australia looks to bounce back from the eight-wicket loss in the Boxing Day Test here.
Puckovski’s history of bouncing back strongly from concussion-induced breaks gives McDonald confidence in the young opener.
Pucovski, who was primed to make his debut in Adelaide, was ruled out of the first two Tests after being hit on the head in the first warm-up game. That was the 22-year-old’s ninth concussion, not all from cricket.
“We do know with the history that Will has had, and with my time with him at Victoria. He had a pretty good track record of performing when he has returned,” McDonald told Australian Associated Press.
In 2018, Pucovski scored his maiden First Class hundred just months after suffering two concussions, with only minor hits in between for a Cricket Australia XI against England.
The right-hander also notched up double-centuries in his last two returns from lengthy stints out with concussions.
Pucovski will take part in two crucial net sessions at Melbourne before the team moves to Sydney.