Left-handed Australian opener David Warner has been ruled out of the first Test of the upcoming four-match series against India beginning December 17 at the Adelaide Oval.
Warner had suffered a groin strain in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground and was subsequently ruled out of the final ODI and three-match T20I series, which India won 2-1.
The 32-year-old will need “another 10 days” to achieve peak fitness and will now aim to return for the second Test which will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26.
“I feel I have made great progress in a short amount of time and it’s best for me to stay here in Sydney to continue working on getting back to full fitness,” Warner was quoted as saying in a statement by cricket.com.au.
“The injury feels a lot better, but I need to be able to satisfy in my own mind and to my team-mates that it is 100 per cent ready for Test match conditions. That includes running between the wickets and being agile in the field. Right now, I feel I am short of being able to play at peak fitness and another 10 days will make a difference,” he added.
Australian head coach Justin Langer said he was looking forward to having a fully-fit Warner for the Boxing Day Test.
“If there is one guy you know will go well above and beyond that’s Dave,” Langer said. “He has done an incredible job to get to where he is today and we hope to have a fully fit David Warner at his absolute best in Melbourne,” he added.
Right-handed batsman Will Pucovski will now be in line to make his Test debut in the pink-ball match, provided the 22-year-old recovers well from the “mild concussion” he picked up in the three-day warm-up against India ‘A’ which ended in a draw.
Pucovski was hit on the helmet by a delivery from pacer Kartik Tyagi on Tuesday at the Drummoyne Oval. He immediately went down and stayed on the ground before he had to return to the dressing room as retired hurt.
Test incumbent Joe Burns is the only other specialist opener in the Australian Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.