Warner out cheaply in much-awaited return

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

David Warner's comeback knock started with a bang and ended with a whimper as Australia's quest for a big opening Test partnership this summer dragged on.

Warner, having been sorely missed during the opening half of the four-Test series against India, was widely tipped to be a quick fix for Australia's misfiring batting order and sluggish run-rate.

The veteran opener admitted last week he was unlikely to be fully fit for the third Test at the SCG, having spent almost six weeks on the sidelines because of a groin injury he suffered during a fielding mishap during the ODI campaign, but was desperate to play.

Warner, having vowed to show trademark intent against India, stroked his first delivery through the covers and dashed through for a quickly-run two.

The former vice-captain grimaced after completing a quick single soon after, then was out for five after lashing at consecutive deliveries from Mohammed Siraj in the fourth over.

Warner's first flat-footed stroke went unpunished but the second resulted in an edge that sailed straight to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip.

"I hope he hasn't tweaked it again," Ricky Ponting said on the Seven Network.

"It was pretty much from that moment (the quick single) on that those loose shots started.

"Has not looked comfortable (since the quick single).

"Hopefully it (the groin injury) wasn't playing on his mind, hopefully he's OK."

Mitchell Starc, speaking on the same TV network during the lunch break, suggested Warner was fine.

"He's been doing a lot of his rehab and been very professional about it," Starc said.

"When you come back from injuries there is always that little bit of doubt about it.

"But he seems pretty fine .. no ice on."

Warner and Will Pucovski's opening stand was worth six runs, coming after the Joe Burns-Matthew Wade pairing put on partnerships of 16, 70, 19 and four during the two previous Tests.

Warner had flagged that he would be somewhat restricted during the SCG Test, noting "when it comes to these tendon issues, they hang around for quite a while and it's quite hard to get through that pain threshold".

Coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine both backed the left-hander to push through the pain barrier.

"He's going to be playing with pain," Langer said earlier this week.

"He's willing to take that on and hopefully it won't hamper him too much.

"We're confident it's not something he can re-injure ... we wouldn't take that risk of him re-injuring himself."