Experienced opening batsman David Warner had missed the first two Tests because of a groin injury, but Paine on Wednesday (January 6) confirmed that he will be playing at the SCG.
Paine, though, refrained from revealing the exact playing XI for the all-important encounter. However, he left a hint that there could be more than one change for the New Year’s Test.
With struggling opener Joe Burns left out of the squad and Will Pucovski now available for selection after overcoming concussion, Warner could well go in with a new Test opening partner against the Indian team.
Subsequently, Matthew Wade, the make-shift opener in Adelaide and Melbourne, could move back to the middle-order, with Travis Head likely to be benched after poor performances.
Warner’s A Player You Love Having On Your Side: Tim Paine
Paine was quick to reinforce the value Warner brings to the table. The Australian team badly missed their explosive left-hander in the first two Tests. They will be hoping he can stamp his authority with the series level 1-1.
“We’ve got a team but we’re just not releasing it at the moment. The boys are still training so we’ll get through that first, unscathed and then we’ll try to get a team out as quickly as we can after that,” Paine was quoted as saying at a pre-match press conference.
“Obviously with David (Warner) playing and potentially more, there’s some conversations that need to be had first. Davey’s been awesome, he brings really high intensity and fills guys with confidence around him.”
“He’s a player that you love having on your side. He’s always got plenty to say, really energetic, very professional and I’ve always loved playing.”
David Warner Makes Instant Impact With The Energy He Brings: Tim Paine
Paine said Warner’s presence alone boosts the Australian team with so much more energy. They look to bounce back after a humbling defeat in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
“He’s a player in this team guys love to have in the side, so he’s made an instant impact with that energy and intensity that he brings. Will’s been fantastic as well,” he said.
“He’s been out of the bubble for a couple of weeks, so he’s excited, he’s fresh and he’s been batting really well in the nets and looks ready to go if he’s called upon,” Paine added.
Warner had hurt his groin while fielding in the second ODI versus India in November. The left-hand batsman has been missing from the action ever since. The 34-year-old will be raring to go at the SCG and leave his mark in the Test series.