Cricket

India vs Australia: Skipper Tim Paine hints at David Warner’s return for New Year’s Test

Paine said Warner's recovery is on track and there is a strong possibility of him featuring in the third Test, starting on 7 January in Sydney.

India vs Australia: Skipper Tim Paine hints at David Warner’s return for New Year’s Test

File image of David Warner. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Melbourne: Australia captain Tim Paine on Tuesday hinted that opener David Warner could play the third Test against India while Will Pucovski is also not far from returning to competitive cricket.

Paine said Warner's recovery is on track and there is a strong possibility of him featuring in the third Test, starting on 7 January in Sydney.

"David looks very good. He has started running between the wickets, so early signs with him very good for the third Test, which is awesome for us," Paine said at the post-match press conference after Australia lost the second Test by eight wickets.

File image of David Warner. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

File image of David Warner. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

"Pucovski is not far away to return to play. He is pretty close to return," he added.

Warner missed the first two Tests and the preceding three T20 Internationals as well as one ODI game against India due to a groin injury. He sustained the injury during the second ODI.

His return would lend solidity to the Australian top-order as Joe Burns has not been consistent though he scored a half-century in the second innings of the Adelaide Test.

If Pucovski is also cleared to play, it will be interesting to see whether he will be asked to open alongside Warner or persist with Burns.

The 22-year-old Pucovski was tipped to make his Test debut in the first day/night match in Adelaide but it was delayed after he was hit on his helmet during the warm-up game.

Updated Date: December 29, 2020 12:00:28 IST

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