It is not just David Warner’s numbers with the bat and his experience at the top of the batting order but also his energy that will boost Australia, batsman Marnus Labuschagne has said.
The left-handed opening batsman was included in the Australia Test squad for the last two Tests in Sydney and Brisbane with team assistant coach Andrew McDonald hinting on Thursday that he would be played even if he is not 100% fit.
The Aussies are struggling with a proper opening combination after the 34-year-old was ruled out of the first two Tests due to a groin injury that he suffered in the second One-day International against India on November 29 in Sydney.
Warner had been batting at the nets ahead of the second Test although head coach Justin Langer had said that he was struggling with running between the wickets.
However, Labuschagne said that Warner’s return to the squad brings a lot of energy.
“He is a big inclusion for us if he comes back in, someone with over 7000 Test runs and averaging near-about 50. He is a superb player. I think he is in the top calibre of players. And just the energy that he will bring around the group and his energy in the field. It will be terrific and great to have him,” said Labuschagne while speaking to the media.
Australia axed Joe Burns from the squad and brought in young, uncapped opener Will Pucovski.
Marcus Harris and makeshift opener Matthew Wade are the others who can open although McDonald on Thursday said that Wade is primarily a middle-order batsman.
McDonald said Warner is the first choice even if 90-95% fit.
“I think that is a clear option that he may not be 100% fit. He is coming off an injury. If he is 90-95% and the conversation is that if he is fit enough to perform his duties for the team. That is the conversation the head coach (Justin Langer) will have with the player and most times Justin has been pretty open with the players, giving them accountability,” said McDonald ahead of the third Test that will be telecast live on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six from 5 am.