Australia was expected to have a huge advantage going into the test series against India. The Aussies are playing on home soil in front of home crowds and have one of the strongest test squads in world cricket.
However, the Aussies have suffered multiple blows as a number of key players are battling injuries and are likely to miss the first test which is a day/night test match. The first test takes place at the Adelaide Oval on Dec 17 and will be a crucial match for both sides to win in the four match test series.
Even though Australia has been weakened by the loss of key players, they still enter the first test as the betting favorites with odds of 3/4 while India has odds of 19/10. The odds of the first test match ending up in a draw are 11/2.
David Warner – Groin Injury
The second most important player in the Aussie test line-up is undoubtedly David Warner. The former vice-captain of Australia is an established opener and has the ability to quickly score at the top of the order and put pressure on the opposition. Warner suffered a groin injury during the ODI series against India.
He has been out of action since then and Australia were hopeful that he would recover in time for the first test. However, Warner isn’t fully fit and Australia will not rush him back as they do not want to put him at further risk.
The injury to Warner poses more than one concern for Australia. This is because Australia has been struggling to find a good opening partner for David Warner for some time now. With Warner missing out, Australia now have to find not one but two openers for the Adelaide test.
Will Pucovski – Concussion
Young Will Pucovski has been brilliant for Australia and his string of big scores at the top of the order forced the selectors to pick him. There was a debate a few weeks ago as to whether Pucovski or Joe Burns would get to open with Warner.
Joe Burns has had a terrible run during the two tour games against India scoring 5 runs in four innings. His poor form opened the door for Pucovski to debut in the first test but sadly for him he suffered a blow to the head in the first tour game against India.
The 22 year old Pucovski has taken more than one blow to the head (9 blows in total) in recent times and Australia team doctor has ruled him out for the first test. Pucovski will have to wait a bit longer to make his debut for Australia which could very well be in the second test.
This means that Australia need to find two openers for the first test and with Joe Burns out of form, it really puts pressure on the selectors and the middle-order.
Cameron Green – Concussion
The impressive all-rounder Cameron Green was tipped to make his debut for Australia in the first test. However, he suffered a freak injury in the second tour game when a straight drive from J Bumrah hit him in the head and saw him go down.
Green has also suffered a concussion and could very well miss out on the first test. He brings a lot of balance to the side at number six and if he is unavailable, Australia will have to rethink their options.
Shane Warne Selects His Playing XI
Australian great Shane Warne has taken all of the injuries into concern and says Australia have to do the best with what they have. His playing XI includes Harris, Wade, Labuschagne, Smith, Head, Green, Paine, Cummins, Starc, Lyon and Hazelwood.
He has Shaun Marsh on standby if Green is not cleared.