Australia expect David Warner to play in the third Test, as young gun Will Pucovski took another step forward in his quest for a baggy green.
Warner appeared to bat without discomfort in the MCG indoor nets on Sunday, though the opener has expressed doubt as to whether he will be able to explode off the mark for the singles that are a key component of his game.
Matthew Wade is keen to get to Brisbane.Credit:Getty Images
The pair are both highly experienced international players and offer Australia an element of steadiness in what has been a turbulent series on and off the field.
The Australians remain heavily invested in Pucovski but there are benefits from letting the Victorian prodigy sit out in Sydney, not least the extra time it gives him to build confidence before his introduction to the highest level.
"We expect David to play, so it’ll either be me opening with him or they’ll make a change," Wade said on Sunday. "I’m not sure it’ll be me and Will."
A Warner-Wade pairing would give Australia the firepower to set the agenda against the new ball instead of being dictated to, as they were in the first two Tests when they were criticised by former great Ricky Ponting for a lack of initiative.
Wade, however, said he was no "dasher" in the red-ball game, as indicated by his career strike rate of 50 in the first-class scene.
"I’ll give myself a good chance. We all know what Davey does, he’s a dangerous player at the top of the order and they are hard to come by – guys that average 50 and strike at what Davey does," Wade said.
"There’s been a lot of talk around the strike rate, but standing in the field India have been under pressure with our bowlers for a long period as well. That’s tough, hard Test cricket, it’s not easy to score."
Wade said he welcomed the chance to open this series rather than seeing it as sign he could be the man sacrificed when Warner was again available.
"I saw it as an opportunity to show I was versatile to bat from one to seven, I’ve batted in pretty much every position in the Test line-up, so I saw it as a positive opportunity," Wade said.
"Going forward, they have someone who can cover every position and I can wicketkeep as well if something happened to Tim [Paine]. Saw it as a positive than a worry about being picked, I’m a bit passed that now, my spot has been speculated for 10 years so pretty used to that.
"Moving forward, if that’s something the selectors want me to keep doing I’m more than comfortable doing it now, if I slide back down the order then as I said going into the Test summer I’m happy to bat wherever."
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