Ahead of the Sydney Test, Andrew McDonald has revealed that David Warner is optimistic about his return to the Australian playing XI for the third Test after being included in the squad. He has also reckoned that Smith and Labuschagne are ready to score runs after failure for the former thus far.
With Australia’s top-order in shambles, the break in between the second and the third Test comes at an opportune time for the hosts. Even after getting two games to change his fortunes, Joe Burns couldn’t break the shackles despite scoring a half-century in the second innings of the Adelaide Test.
Following the performance, with the potential return for both David Warner and Will Pucovski, the hosts dropped the incumbent opener Burns from the squad for the third Test. Australia’s assistant coach Andrew McDonald revealed that the southpaw is optimistic about his chances of featuring in the playing XI in Sydney.
“He’s (Warner) very optimistic that he should be ready to go, which is a great news for us. We are really excited to have him back. Look, if he’s 90-95% fit and the conversation is that he’s fit enough to be able to go out there and perform his duties for the team, then I’m sure that’ll be a conversation the coach has with the player,” McDonald said during a virtual press conference, reported HT.
However, on the other hand, McDonald was very clear that Pucovski would only be debuting if he passes the test after he suffered from a bout of a concussion earlier.
“He will be put through tests whatever it needs to be put through to make himself available for selection to potentially open the batting. So it’s good to have a little bit of depth out there.”
In regards to Smith’s lean form, the former Australian all-rounder reckoned that Smith is in a really good position and space to come back strongly in the Sydney Test, which incidentally is also his hometown.
“I wouldn’t be too quick to be judging Steve Smith not looking good in the middle. He looks pretty solid and hitting the ball well at the nets. Yeah, it’s a challenge to rebound. The world’s best players usually rebound. He’s (Smith) in a really good space, to be honest, come Sydney Test,” McDonald said.
While Smith has suffered from a bad run of form, Marnus Labuschagne hasn’t been able to convert his starts into a substantial score to help Australia in the past two Tests. McDonald pointed out how from a technique viewpoint, the duo is ready to go for the third Test.
“Technically they’re ready to go. It’s about how they score their runs and how they’re going to combat these attacks from Indian bowlers. Yes, they want to make sure that they are technically in a good space but it’s more about the method now.”