Fielding key as Warner targets SCG return

Rob Forsaith
·3-min read

David Warner admits it will be "quite difficult" to play both the third and fourth Tests because of a groin injury, also revealing that slips catching will determine whether he returns at the SCG.

Warner has been on the sidelines since his fielding mishap during an ODI on November 29.

Australia, reeling from a shock series-levelling loss to India at the MCG, are desperate for the 84-Test veteran to bolster their misfiring batting order.

Warner says he will have a better idea of whether he will play the third Test, which starts on Thursday, after training in Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday.

"Am I going to be 100 per cent? Highly doubtful," the 34-year-old told reporters on Saturday morning.

"But I'll be doing everything I can to let the selectors give me that green light."

Warner, even after embracing cryotherapy and a range of other treatments in an attempt to fast track his recovery, will be restricted throughout the rest of the series.

The former vice-captain suggested the injury may limit his ability to play certain strokes but argued adrenaline would take over during a match and his trademark speed between the wickets was more important.

However, Warner conceded that playing 10 days of Test cricket in the space of 13 days could potentially push him to breaking point.

"It would be quite difficult, especially if I spent time out in the middle, to back up," Warner said.

"It is going to be a task but I'm up for that and know I have a couple of weeks off afterwards.

"I'll be doing everything I can to keep working on that rehab ... with these tendon issues, they hang around for quite a while."

The aggressive opener has already batted in the nets but fielding drills remain a box that must be ticked if he is to play his home Test.

Warner is expected to be stationed at first slip at the SCG, where Australia will be targeting significant improvements in the field after costly dropped catches marred their defeat in the Boxing Day Test.

"I know I can manage the running between the wickets, the shot making I have," he said.

"It's whether or not I have that capacity of catching the balls, left and right of myself ... I have to be agile enough to make sure I'm taking those chances.

"That's probably going to determine whether I play or not.

"Batting in the nets the other day, it (the groin injury) actually helped me because I had to wait for the ball to be in my area, I didn't have to throw my hands at it."

Warner enjoyed time with family during his break from biosecurity protocols but the batsman initially struggled to do much outside the bubble.

"It was quite difficult just to move around in bed, get in and out of the car," he said.

"But having that time in your own bed is the thing you miss the most."