A struggling Australia is willing to risk playing seasoned opener David Warner in the third Test against India, even if not 100% fit, assistant coach Andrew McDonald said on Thursday. The third test will be played in Sydney from 7 to 11 January. In the absence of Warner, who was recovering from an inguinal hernia, the Australia batter miserably failed in the first two games. “That’s a real, straightforward option. He might not be 100 percent fit – who’s going to get injured? You won’t know until you get out of there,” McDonald said during a virtual press conference.
“Look, if he’s 90-95% fit and the conversation is that he’s fit enough to go out and do his duties for the team, then I’m sure that will be a conversation the coach has with. the player. .
“Usually, Justin (Langer) is quite open with the players about being accountable for that.”
Warner has been named to the roster along with Victorian young gun Will Pucovski for the third Test as Australia tries to bounce back from losing eight wicket in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
McDonald said Warner is optimistic about making a comeback in Sydney.
“He is (Warner) very optimistic that he should be ready to go, which is great news for us. We are very excited to have him back,” said McDonald.
“I’m sure he’s excited to be back in the group too. There’s nothing worse than getting injured when you’re at the top of your game, as David has been for a while.”
Pucovski is also ready for a possible debut after the youngster suffered a concussion earlier this month in the first warm-up game against the Indians.
“He’s going to be put through testing whatever needs to be done to make himself available for selection to potentially open the batter. So it’s good to have some depth there,” McDonald said.
One of the biggest setbacks for the Aussies to date has been a rare collapse in form of batting mainstay Steve Smith, who has only scored 10 runs in four innings in the series so far.
“I wouldn’t be too quick to judge that Steve Smith doesn’t look good in the middle. He looks pretty solid and hits the ball well in the net,” McDonald said.
When asked if living in a biobubble affected Smith, he said, “No, not at all. Obviously at the UAE we have worked closely with the Rajasthan Royals and there is nothing to suggest that there is a link.
“I am sure that ideally you would prefer to be with your family around Christmas time, and Justin has addressed that. Unfortunately, some players and staffers will disconnect from the family during Christmas time, which is undoubtedly not ideal.
“Yeah, it’s a challenge to rebound. The best players in the world usually rebounce. He’s (Smith) in a really good space to be honest, come Sydney Test.”
The assistant coach had a similar opinion of Marnus Labuschagne, who missed the 1950s in both Adelaide and Melbourne.
“Technically they are ready to go. It’s about how they score their runs and how they are going to fight these attacks from Indian bowlers. Yes, they want to make sure they are technically in good space, but that’s about it.” now more about the method, ”said McDonald.
The Australian batsmen were strangled down the leg side by the Indians with a brilliant bowling strategy.
“Probably the question for me at this point is the technical or technical way India has prepared and probably can master, especially with that kind of leg side theory, so to speak,” he said.
In the second test, India skipper Ajinkya Rahane introduced his star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back in the 11th, and he delivered by firing Matthew Wade and Smith in his first spell to help his team finish Australia for 195 in their first innings.
McDonald said they were surprised to see the bounce and turn on the MCG wicket.
“I think one of the things that really surprised everyone was the area at the MCG on Boxing Day. It’s not what we normally assumed to be flat force,” McDonald said.
“We didn’t expect the spider to play a major role in MCG on the first day in particular. It spun and bounced off most of the surface.
“So for me the wicket probably surprised us a bit.
“We probably weren’t able to adapt quickly enough to fight Indian bowlers at the time,” McDonald concluded.
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