Colts eye Warner slot
A groin injury has ruled David Warner out of at least the first Test versus India and Australia head coach Justin Langer says the temporarily vacant opening slot will go to the one who performs well for Australia A in the upcoming tour games against the visitors.
The Australian cricket fraternity has been debating on Warner’s opening partner in the Test series with a few backing the struggling Joe Burns to keep his place, while others want young William Pucovski to open.
However, the injury to Warner has changed the scenario and created a situation where both Burns and Pucovski could open. Langer said it has taken “a bit of pressure off”. “No wonder I’m a bit more relaxed. We’ve won a few games and I don’t have to worry about who we’re going to pick for the Test side,” Langer said. Australia A will lock horns with India A from December 6 and against the senior Indian team from December 11 in Sydney before the Test series. “I’ve said it so many times, the hardest part of the job is selecting the teams. But we’ve got an Australia A game starting in a few days and it’ll be a good opportunity for those guys against the Indian A side to put their hands up.
“And then after that is another Australia A game versus the actual Indian Test side at the SCG under lights with a pink ball,” Langer said. “We’ll work out who’s going to play in that game and certainly there are huge opportunities for people to put their hands up.”
The Test series is set to unfold in Adelaide with the pink ball game from December 17. If Pucovski is picked as Burns’ opening partner, he would make his Test debut in a Day-Night game like Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson did in 2016 against South Africa.
Talking about the enormous pain that Warner suffered after getting injured during the second ODI in Sydney, Langer said it was like receiving a gunshot.
“He has strained his adductor in his groin and they tell me it’s a very painful injury. It looked like he got shot by a gun. He was in incredible pain in the change room thereafter,” he said.
“I’m not holding my breath that he’ll be ready for the first Test match. But that said, he’s the sort of elite professional who will be doing literally everything possible to be ready for it. “We’ll see what happens, but he’s going to be a loss, that’s for sure.”