Sydney [Australia], December 31 (ANI): Opener David Warner was added to the Australia squad for the remaining two Tests and assistant coach Andrew McDonald on Thursday hinted the opening batsman might play even if he is not a 100 per cent.
Batting has been a worry for the Australian side in the longest format of the game this summer. With batting mainstay Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith not living up to their potential, the hosts are banking upon Warner for the remaining two Test matches.
Warner is recovering from the groin strain he sustained during the ODI series against India while Will Pucovski was sidelined after suffering a concussion in the warm-up match in early December.
"That's a real clear option that he may not be 100 per cent fit. Who is coming off an injury? You never know until you get out there. If he's 90, 95% fit, and that conversation is that he's fit enough to be able to perform his duties for the team then I'm sure that will be conversation the coach has with the player," ESPNcricinfo quoted McDonald as saying.
"Most times Justin's pretty open with the players, giving them accountability around that," he added.
McDonald said the Australian camp is really excited to have Warner back for the Test series.
"He's very optimistic he should be ready to go which is great news. We're really excited to have him back. There's nothing worse than being injured when you're at the top of your game as David has been for a period of time," McDonald said.
In the ongoing Test series, the hosts have been scoring at 2.52 runs per over, which is also their slowest on Australian soil since 1986-87, but Warner inclusion won't suddenly have an effect on the scoring rate, according to McDonald.
"He's a world-class player and his strike rate is probably higher than most players around the world and he can put pressure on opposition bowling attacks," said McDonald.
"But I don't think we should be narrowing it into that the batting unit hasn't had the intent. The bowling has been dominant in this series. If you look at both teams, both teams have really struggled to get this scoreboard rattling along. So for me that's good planning, good bowling execution, but also the surfaces have lent themselves to slower play," he explained.
Warner and Pucovski were named in Australia's updated Test squad for the remaining two Tests on Wednesday. Australia opener Joe Burns, who failed to perform, has been released and will return to the Brisbane Heat outfit for the Big Bash League (BBL).
Cricket Australia on Wednesday informed that the hosts will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before moving to Sydney on January 4. (ANI)