Melbourne: Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne is looking forward to the return of David Warner for the third Test against India in Sydney as he feels the the hosts will benefit not just from his batting but also the "terrific energy" he will bring to the field.
Warner, who missed out a major chunk of the India assignment due to a groin injury, was brought back into the squad for the last two Tests with the series locked at 1-1. The third Test begins 7 january.
"He's a big inclusion for us if he does come back in," Labuschagne told reporters in an online interaction.
"He's someone with over 7000 Test runs and averaging near-on 50, he's a superb player.
"He's in that top calibre of player and his energy around the group and in the field will be terrific. It will be great to have him," he added.
In the absence of Warner, Australia's batting has failed miserably in the first two matches.
Only Matthew Wade (27.75), Labuschagne (32.25) and captain Tim Paine (43.50) are averaging more than 23 for the series.
On Thursday, assistant coach Andrew McDonald had said that the home team, which has failed to breach the 200-run mark this series, is prepared to risk playing Warner in the third Test even if he is not 100 per cent fit.
There had been a lot of uncertainty around the venue of the Sydney Test after a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in the northern beaches in the city.
However, Cricket Australia has decided to retain the Sydney Cricket Ground as the venue of the Pink Test.
Labuschagne, who notched up his highest Test score of 215 against New Zealand at the SCG last January, said it will be "hard work" putting runs on the board with two world-class bowling attacks.
"It's a beautiful venue to bat at and it has been, at times, quite batting-friendly," Labuschagne said.
"But with two world-class bowling attacks it's always hard work, it doesn't matter what the wicket's like," he added.
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Smith has faced accusations he had been trying to cheat by scuffing up batsman Rishabh Pant's guard at the crease during the tense drawn third Test at Sydney, which left the series locked at 1-1.
Paine's performance behind the wickets and his tactics as captain in the just-concluded Test series against India which Australia lost 1-2 were severely criticised by former players.
India chased down the improbably 328-run target set by Australia to become the first team in 32 years to win a Test at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, sealing the four-match series in their favour as well.