Australia are ready to play veteran opener, David Warner, even if he is not 100% fit as the hosts aim to strengthen their batting-unit following disastrous performances with the bat in the opening two Tests, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday.
Warner, who suffered a tear in adductor muscle while fielding during the second One-day International against India earlier in the summer, has been added to the 18-member squad for the next two Test matches while Joe Burns has been released.
“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,” Andrew McDonald said during a virtual press conference as quoted by Reuters.
“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,” he added.
“Most times Justin (Langer) is pretty open with the players in terms of giving them accountability around that.” McDonald said.
The assistant coach further added that David Warner is very optimistic about his chances of making a return to the playing 11 in the New Year Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“He’s (Warner) very optimistic that he should be ready to go, which is a great news for us. We are really excited to have him back,” McDonald said.
“I’m sure that he’s excited to come back into the group as well. There’s nothing worse than being injured when you are at the top of your game as David has been over a period of time.” he added.
Along with David Warner, young opener Will Pucovski has also been added to the squad but his participation in the Test match is subjected to the result of further concussion test that he will undergo in the lead-up to the Sydney Test.
”He will be put through tests whatever it needs to be put through to make himself available for selection to potentially open the batting. So it’s good to have a little bit of depth out there.” he added.