Australia’s batting is in dire straits currently and the hosts need a shot in the arm ahead of the crucial third Test match against India in Sydney. The series is tied after India’s comprehensive victory in Melbourne and the hosts are in need of strengthening their flagging batting resources.
Australian selectors signalled that when they announced the squad for the remaining two Tests against India. Struggling opener Joe Burns was dropped and the veteran David Warner and the green horn Will Pucovski were included. Both men have been recovering from respective injuries.
Former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist opened up on who he thinks will get a go in the Sydney Test.
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“He’s (Warner) very, very close,” Gilchrist told ‘Fox Sports News’.
“The way I look at it, he must have been pretty close to Melbourne the way he rushed down here to make sure he wasn’t caught by any border closures but he obviously didn’t get up for Melbourne.
“But if he’s moving around a lot as we’ve seen … the Australians will have two days training here in Melbourne and then they head up to Sydney so I would expect he will be all right to go. It’s just a question of who will be at the other end with him,” Gilchrist added.
Pucovski, who was expected to make his Test debut in the Adelaide day-night match, was hit on the head in the practice pink ball match and has since been recovering. Gilchrist feels Pucovski might have to wait as Matthew Wade has made a good case for himself to continue at the top of the order.
“My natural instinct is that if you bring someone into a squad, a la Pucovski, you’re probably going to play him. It may not be that certain.
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“They might be bringing him into the squad so he can start getting higher-level practice and be fully engaged with the squad and the high-quality training that goes along with that,” Gilchrist added.
“Since his blow to the head he hasn’t really had any other cricket to go and play, so perhaps they’re bringing him in more as cover should something else happen or if they want to play him in the fourth Test.”
“Matt Wade has made a really strong case to stay at the top of the order by way of determination and fight and that natural characteristic that comes through in his game.
“He hasn’t capitalised on big runs but I think they’ll probably keep Wade at the top with Warner and leave that middle order as settled as they can,” Gilchrist said.
By continuing with Wade at the top, Gilchrist feels the Travis Head has to deliver down the order
“That’ll put the spotlight on Travis Head – he’ll have to deliver big runs. I don’t think he’s fallen foul of the selectors just yet, I think they’ll show faith in him for at least one more Test match.
“Then if changes need to be made, obviously they’ll have Pucovski there with a week of good solid training under his belt with the team. He’ll be there for Brisbane if they want to make a change,” Gilchrist said.