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David Warner likely to play, Will Pucovski set to debut at SCG: Justin Langer

Australian head coach Justin Langer has announced that opener David Warner, who suffered a groin injury in the ODI series against India, is very likely to make a comeback into the team for the third Test in Sydney. Warner’s injury had ruled him out of the 3-match T20Is that the tourists won by 2-1, and the initial two Tests at Adelaide Oval and MCG.

Also, Will Pucoski will be making his Test debut in the forthcoming Test on Thursday.

“Very hopeful that David will be ready to go for the third Test, he is a bit of a warrior, isn’t he? I have said this since day one that he is doing very everything possible to be ready,” Langer said at the virtual press conference.

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Langer added, “He (Warner) is moving pretty well. He is very determined to play. He loves the competition and loves playing Test cricket. We will get some final eves on him at the training this afternoon and we will make a discussion on that. But I would say, he is looking very likely to play the Test match.”

Further, Langer announced that Will Puvoski, who had copped a concussion on the head during the practice Test match against India A, has fully recovered and will play in the forthcoming Test.

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Pucovski is the highest run-getter in the Sheffield season 2020-21, massing a whopping 495 runs in 2 matches, averaging an astonishing 247.50, including 2 hundreds. Overall, the 22-year-old has hammered 1720 runs in 22 First-Class matches at an average of 55.50 with 6 hundreds and 5 fifties.

“He has been cleared by all the medicos. He has been cleared and that will be very heartening for him and for his family and everyone involved in it,” Langer said.

David Warner is a master of the game: Justin Langer

David Warner last played a Test match in the month of January in 2020 against New Zealand, scoring 45 and 111 in the final Test of the 3-match Test series at SCG that the hosts eventually won by a mammoth 279 runs.

Interestingly, Warner has terrific numbers at the venue in the longest format of the game, scoring 732 runs in 8 Tests, averaging 66.55, with 4 hundred and 3 fifties at a strike rate close to 90. And against India, he notched a ton at the venue back in the four-match home series in 2014-15.

Also Read: Rahul Dravid was equally hard to overcome as Sachin Tendulkar: Steve Waugh

Langer stated how Warner’s long-time absence from four-day cricket won’t affect him much, considering he has immense experience of the game and that the latter would transition smoothly into the purist format without ado.

“He has played a lot of white-ball cricket recently, a bit like Steve Smith. Davey has not played any four-day cricket for about 12 months but he is a master of the game. He has played a lot of cricket, his experience will help him, no doubt about that,” said Langer.

The coach added that since Warner will be under pain in the tendon area, he will be positioned in the slips to reduce the energy that he may exert while fielding somewhere else.

“He is going to play with pain though and it is not so much in the muscle but in the tendon area . Like a lot of cricketers, who play through different levels of pain, he is willing to take that on and hopefully won’t hamper him too much,” added the cricketer-turned coach.

Earlier, Warner had declared himself as ‘highly doubtful’ to attaining complete fitness ahead of the New Year’s Test in Sydney. However, Langer guaranteed that there isn’t any risk involved with Warner’s induction for the third Test, although there might a few restrictions in the southpaw’s field movements

“He (Warner) has had a good rehab, as I said he might be a little restricted in the field, he might get that area little bit fatigued because he hasn’t played Test cricket for a while but we wouldn’t take that risk if we thought he would re-injure himself,” Langer concluded.

The 4-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy is currently tied at 1-1, with the Ajinkya Rahane-led India making an astounding comeback in the Boxing Day Test at MCG following the forgettable defeat in the first Test at Adelaide Oval.

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V Shashank
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar


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