David Warner is still no certainty to overcome a groin injury in time to bolster Australia’s batting line-up for the New Year’s Test against India.
The 34-year-old has been out of action since the ODI series and he was sorely missed at the top of the order as the hosts were bowled out for 195 at the MCG on Boxing Day.
Warner is due to have another hit in the MCG nets on Sunday afternoon as he pushes his claims for a return in the third Test, which is scheduled to begin on January 7.
“In terms of his batting, he’s flying, (but) it’s just he’s still having some trouble with his groin,” Australia coach Justin Langer told the Seven Network.
“We know how dynamic he is, his running between the wickets, the way he’s moving all the time, so he’s getting closer and we’re hopeful that he will come good.
“He’s certainly hopeful he’s going to come good, but time will tell.
“We still have a few more days till the next Test match.
“Fingers crossed he’s ready to go for that third Test match.”
In Warner’s absence on Boxing Day, Marnus Labuschagne (48), Travis Head (38) and makeshift opener Matthew Wade (30) scored the bulk of Australia’s runs.
But under-fire opener Joe Burns and former captain Steve Smith both failed to score as Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin played key roles in limiting the Australians to a sub-200 first innings for the second time in as many attempts this series.
“We’re not going to win, we’re not going to set up games as well as we could (without improving our partnerships),” Langer said.
“If you look at our partnerships in the first Test match, in the first innings and then yesterday, you know, we have to get a lot better at that.”