(Add details, quotes)
MELBOURNE, December 24 (Reuters) – Australia coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed that his squad will remain unchanged for their second test against India which begins on Saturday at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia claimed an eight-wicket victory over Tourists in the first test in Adelaide after sacking Virat Kohli’s side for a record-breaking score of 36 in their second round.
“I would be a man brave enough to change the XI for this test match after the last one,” Langer told reporters on Thursday.
“At this point, unless something happens in the next few days – and things can happen in the world we live in – we’ll come in with the same XI, I would say.”
Opening batsman David Warner, who missed the first test with a groin injury, had previously been ruled out of the game and was probably the only player to have been in contention to make his way into the side . however, added as Warner was back at bat in the net and likely to return for the third test in Sydney, there were still concerns about his injury.
“We have a lot of hope,” Langer said when asked if Warner would be fit for the third test. “He hit the net really well yesterday.
“He’s having a little trouble running at full speed. When he comes back and feels confident he will of course come back to our team.
“We’re just going to watch him, and cross our fingers, he’ll be back.”
Langer added that with Warner’s possible return, there would likely be a less-than-easy selection decision for the third test with the makeshift opening Matthew Wade expected to fall back to middle range.
This could worry Travis Head and Cameron Green, although Langer said the competition was what was expected internationally.
“You are literally under the pump every time you play for Australia. Every player is, that’s how it should be. It’s so healthy for Australian cricket.”