Who Will Warner Replace in the Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne?
David Warner suffered a hamstring injury during the second ODI of the series on India’s current tour of Australia. The injury kept the left-handed Australian opener out of the T20I series that followed. He also missed the first Test match that began in Adelaide on 17 December. Warner is now set to return to action in the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. After Australia completed a historic win in two and a half days in Adelaide, they would have to drop a player to accommodate Warner. Who will it be?
Burns and Wade Opened in Adelaide
When it became evident that Warner would not play in Adelaide, there was much speculation as to who would open the Australian innings. Will Pucovski ha suffered a concussion and Joe Burns was woefully out of form. Several former Australia players weighed in with their suggestions. While some felt that Harris and Wade would be good opening solutions, the selectors saw fit to stick with Joe Burns while bringing in Wade, a middle-order batsman who had never opened in a Test match. The Australian selectors might have been influenced by Wade’s good form against India in the T20I series.
Both Openers Delivered
As it transpired, both batsmen came good in the first Test. Though both players managed only 8 runs each in the first innings, Wade spent over 14 overs at the wicket, while Burns spent 17 on a difficult pitch that had something in it for fast bowlers. Burns was out to an iffy decision that earned the umpire some criticism from former Australia captain Shane Warne. After a dramatic turnaround that was brought about when India collapsed to be 36 all out in their second knock, Australia were set 90 to win. Burns and Wade joined the party with a 70-run opening stand that ended with the unfortunate run out of Wade who made 33. Burns scored an unbeaten 51, including the winning hit that went for a six over fine leg.
Choice Limited to Wade and Green
All of Australia’s four bowlers stamped their impact on the Adelaide Test. While Labuschagne, Smith and Paine are indispensable in the middle order, Australia will have to choose between Wade and Cameron Green to drop one of them to accommodate Warner’s return to the eleven. Green earned his place in the Test side after scoring a century in India’s first warm-up match of the series. He bowled nine overs in India’s first innings in Adelaide, conceding 15 runs without taking a wicket. When Australia batted, the young all-rounder scored 11 runs before being caught brilliantly by India captain Virat Kohli off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin. Though Green did not bowl in India’s second innings, he got his revenge by taking a low catch at gully to dismiss the Indian skipper in the middle of India’s infamous collapse.
Wade May Have to Sit Out
So, who will give way for Warner? Cameron Green gives Australia the option of a fifth bowler while shoring up the batting. He is already being talked about as the next superstar of Australian cricket. So, we are guessing that Wade will have to sit out the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
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