Injured Australian opener David Warner is no certainty to return for the third Test against India after coach Justin Langer revealed he still can’t run properly.
Warner has already missed the opening two clashes after injuring himself in the field during a one-day clash in Sydney on November 29.
The third Test will start on January 7, in either Sydney or back at the MCG, where Warner has been batting in the nets isolated from the rest of the Test squad having flown to Melbourne to continue his recovery after a COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney.
He batted again on the second day of the Boxing Day Test and looked comfortable in his afternoon net session, in which he faced balls from Sean Abbott.
Warner batted for around 45 minutes and appeared to run at full pace.
But Langer could only say he had his “fingers crossed” that Warner would be ready for the third Test in 11 days time.
“As we‘ve said for the last few weeks, there’s no one more professional and he’s doing everything possible,” Langer told Channel 7 on Sunday.
“We saw him bat the day before the game. He’s batting again this afternoon here at the MCG. So in terms of his batting, he’s flying.
“It‘s just trying to – he’s still having some trouble with his groin, and we know how dynamic he is, his running between the wickets, the way his movement’s 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.”
Warner’s return could mean stand-in opener Matthew Wade movs back down the order in place of either Travis Head or Cameron Green.
But Wade could also be needed to stay at the top of the order if Joe Burns, who was out for a duck in the first innings at the MCG, fails to register a score in the second innings.
Prospective opener Will Pucovski could also yet be in the frame to make his Test debut in the third clash against India after being ruled out of the first two with concussion.