Sydney: Australia opener David Warner has been ruled out of the opening Test against India in Adelaide due to a groin injury that he suffered during the limited-overs series.
The opening Test of the series, to begin on December 17, will be a day-night affair and Warner said he wants to be cent percent ready for the rigours of traditional format and was targeting a return in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
“The injury feels a lot better, but I need to be able to satisfy in my own mind and to my teammates that I am 100% ready for test match conditions that includes running between the wickets and being agile in the field,” Warner said.
“Right now I feel I am short of being able to play at peak fitness and another 10 days will make a difference.”
The 34-year-old Warner had sustained the injury in the second ODI and was subsequently ruled out of the third game in Canberra and the three-game T20 series, which India won 2-1.
Australia coach Justin Langer exuded confidence about Warner’s return in the second 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.”
Warner’s absence will leave Australia with a headache for the opener’s slot, especially after young Will Pucovski suffered a concussion during the three-day first warm-up game between India A and Australia A.
Pucovski, who was considered a sure-shot selection for the series-opener, was hit on the helmet by pacer Kartik Tyagi on Tuesday and was ruled out of the second tour game starting December 11.
The other specialist opener in the squad, Joe Burns has been struggling for runs, having scored just 4 and 0 in the first warm-up game. He has averaged just 8.71 in red-ball cricket this summer.
Burns will look to find some form when he plays the day-night warm-up game.