A groin injury has ruled David Warner out of at least the first Test against India and Australia coach Justin Langer says the temporarily vacant opening slot will go to the one who performs well for Australia A in the upcoming tour games against the visitors. The Australian cricket fraternity has been debating about Warner's opening partner in the Test series with a few backing the struggling Joe Burns to keep his place while others want the young William Pucovski to open.
However, the injury to Warner has changed the scenario and has created a situation where both Burns and Pucovski could open. Langer said, it has taken "a bit of pressure off".
"No wonder I'm a bit more relaxed. We've won a few games and I don't have to worry about who we're going to pick for the Test side," Langer was quoted as saying by the Australian media after the team arrived here for the third ODI. Australia A will lock horns with India A from December 6 and against senior Indian team on December 11 in Sydney before the Test series.
"I've said it so many times, the hardest part of the job is selecting the teams, but we've got an Australia A game starting in a few days and it'll be a good opportunity for those guys against the Indian A side to put their hand up.
"And then after that is another Australia A game versus the actual Indian Test side at the SCG under lights with a pink ball," Langer said.
"We'll work out who's going to play in that game and certainly there's huge opportunities for people to put their hand up."
The Test series is set to unfold in Adelaide with the Pink ball Test from December 17. If Pucovski is picked as Burns' opening partner, he would make his Test debut in a Day/Night game like Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson did in 2016 against South Africa. Talking about the enormous pain that Warner suffered after getting injured during the second ODI in Sydney, Langer said it was like receiving a gun shot.
"He's strained his abductor in his groins and they tell me it's a very painful injury. It looked like he got shot by a gun. He was in incredible pain in the changerooms after," he said.
"I'm not holding my breath that he'll be ready for the first Test match, but with that said he's the sort of elite professional who will be doing literally everything possible to be ready for it.
"We'll see what happens, but he's going to be a loss that's for sure."
D'Arcy Short has replaced Warner in Australia's T20 squad. Reports suggest that the kind of injury Warner has suffered, it would require about four weeks to heal and Warner may miss the first two Tests of the series.