Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is confident that David Warner will compete in the Sydney Test but is not sure if Will Pucovski would make his debut in the third match against India, starting January 7.
Australia have brought back Warner and Pucovski, who were recovering from a groin injury and concussion respectively, to the squad while dropping struggling opener Joe Burns for the remaining two Tests.
“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.
The 49-year-old feels Pucovski is not a sure shot starter for the Sydney Test. “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.
“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.
Pucovski was primed to open in the first Test but the 22-year-old suffered a concussion after being hit on the head during the day-night practice match. “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.”
Matthew Wade was elevated to the role of opener after the home side was struck by injuries and Gilchrist reckons the 33-year-old has made a strong case for himself in the first two Tests.
“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.