Melbourne [Australia], December 24 (ANI): Ahead of the Boxing Day Test against India, Australia coach Justin Langer on Thursday praised skipper Tim Paine for his "incredible leadership" qualities.
Paine had played a fighting knock for Australia on the second day of the pink-ball Test. The hosts were left reeling at 110-7 when the final three wickets managed to add 80 more runs and the skipper played an unbeaten knock of 73 runs to help take Australia closer to the visitors' first innings total.
Langer said he has enormous faith in Paine and went onto explain why the skipper has become the second-best wicket-keeper for Australia after legendary cricketer Adam Gilchrist in the longest format of the game.
"You think about Adam Gilchrist who transformed the game in this sense and he was an all-time great player. I have got enormous faith in Tim Paine every part of his game whether it is wicket-keeping, batting or captaincy," said Langer in a virtual press-conference on Thursday.
"I have said publicly and privately he is such an important player because he is lead wicket-keeper. His leadership is incredible and we saw how well he batted in the first innings under pressure in Adelaide, probably changed the game with the run out of Virat Kohli. He is a great player and a great leader and I literally loved having him in our team," he explained.
Langer is also hopeful that star batsman David Warner could be available for the third Test against India in Sydney.
The third Test between the two sides will be played from January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Langer has kept his "fingers crossed" over Warner's availability.
"I am very hopeful, he batted really well in the nets yesterday. He is moving well and as enthusiastic as ever. He has got so much energy and passion for the game so. And for the last week or so he is doing everything possible to get back onto the ground," said Langer while replying to a query from ANI.
"Fingers crossed he has slight trouble when he starts running at full speed. When he gets back that confidence off course he will be back in the team. We are monitoring him regularly and just fingers crossed," Langer added.
Both India and Australia are set to take on each other in the Boxing Day Test, beginning Saturday. (ANI)