OPINION

David Warner's injury delivers short-term pain, long-term gain

David Warner's absence provides the Australian selectors with an opportunity to freshen up the batting line-up. Photo by Mark Kolbe - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images
David Warner's absence provides the Australian selectors with an opportunity to freshen up the batting line-up. Photo by Mark Kolbe - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images

As disruptive as it might be to Australia's aspirations this summer, David Warner's likely absence from the first Test in Adelaide would have long-term benefits.

While Warner's capability of tearing attacks apart was clear to see in the first two one-day internationals at the SCG before he strained his groin, this provides the Australian selectors with an opportunity to freshen up the batting line-up.

The short-term pain of opener's absence could deliver long-term batting benefits

Young Victorian Will Pucovski has earned the right to be Joe Burns' opening partner with a scintillating start in this year's Sheffield Shield, compiling successive double-centuries.

Pucovski, 22, has been on the cusp of international selection for almost two years and his much-anticipated Test debut against India would create enormous interest.

In Australia's last Test against New Zealand at the SCG in January, five of the top seven were aged 30 and above - Warner, Burns, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade and skipper Tim Paine. The other two, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head, are 26.

Experience is an important commodity at Test level and the veterans, particularly Smith and Paine, still have plenty to offer. But you always must have an eye on the future and Pucovski shapes as an exciting addition to international cricket.

By the way, Warner's role is to open the innings, not select his batting partner. Any suggestion that he should have a say in the other opener is ridiculous - that is why you have selectors.

The pressure will be on Burns to deliver after several failures at Sheffield Shield level. The Adelaide Oval pitch is usually more favourable for batsmen, although the pink ball tends to move around once the sun goes down, bringing the quicker bowlers into play and making batting problematic.

Cameron Green's promising start

While Pucovski awaits his Test call-up, another promising Australian has been impressive in white-ball games against the Indians.

After being touted as a replacement for injured Western Australian teammate Marcus Stoinis - experienced New South Welshman Moises Henriques was preferred for the second one-day international at the SCG - all-rounder Cameron Green made his international debut in the third ODI in Canberra last week.

Green took some punishment from Indian captain Virat Kohli and opener Shubman Gill in his four overs and then redeemed himself with a fine short cameo in the home team's run chase at Manuka Oval, hitting the ball powerfully to make 21 off 27 balls, including a six.

Green is also in the Test squad for Adelaide, so it will be interesting to see if selectors believe the WA youngster has done enough to edge out Wade.

Certainly, Green can handle the bat and provides another handy option with the ball as he displayed against India A at Drummoyne Oval this week.

Pandya, Gill impress

If the ODIs and T20 games are any indication, this summer's cricket will be entertaining and full of runs.

In the three ODIs, more than 300 runs were scored in five of the six innings, with Australia's losing total in Canberra falling just short.

While Smith looks in ominous form for the Australians, the Indian batting line-up, led by the masterly Kohli, presents a significant challenge for the home team's bowling attack.

Two tourists to catch the eye have been Hardik Pandya and Gill.

Pandya starred in the final ODI at Manuka Oval and followed up with a brilliant display of power hitting at the SCG last Sunday to seal the T20 series for the Indians. The talented all-rounder has not played Test cricket for more than a year and is not in the squad to play Australia.

While his record in 11 Tests is modest - 532 runs at 31.29 and 17 wickets at 31.05 - he is an entertaining player who has endured a serious injury setback.

The right-armer has just resumed bowling his fast-medium deliveries after having surgery on his back.

In his only Test ton, batting at No. 8 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2017, his 108 came off only 96 balls and included eight fours and seven sixes.

Gill is a technically-correct player with an impressive array of shots and, at 21, appears to have a bright future.

He has yet to make his Test debut and is in a battle with Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul for an opening spot, although the right-hander has made runs in the middle order for India A.

Andrew Bogut's lasting legacy

Andrew Bogut retires as arguably Australia's greatest basketballer. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

Andrew Bogut retires as arguably Australia's greatest basketballer. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

Andrew Bogut leaves a lasting legacy for young basketballers who believe they are good enough to make it in the sport's premier competition, the NBA.

Bogut, who announced his retirement last week, achieved plenty over his illustrious career, highlighted by a NBA championship ring with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.

The 213cm centre, 36, had stints with four other NBA franchises before returning to Australia and finishing his career in the NBL with the Sydney Kings.

His contribution to Australian basketball has been immense, representing the Boomers in three Olympic Games and FIBA world championships.

Sadly he could not hang on for another Olympics.

The first Australian to be the No. 1 NBA Draft pick in 2005, injuries curtailed his career, but Bogut retires as arguably our greatest basketballer.

  • This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.