Good news for Australian cricket fans as Australia captain Tim Paine on Tuesday hinted that explosive opener David Warner could play the third Test against India while Will Pucovski is also not far from returning to competitive cricket. Paine said Warner’s recovery is on track and there is a strong possibility of him featuring in the third Test, starting on January 7 in Sydney. Also Read - Ajinkya Rahane Claims Winning Series is Priority For Him Rather Than Own Achievements

“David looks very good. He has started running between the wickets, so early signs with him very good for the third Test, which is awesome for us,” Paine said at the post-match press conference after Australia lost the second Test by eight wickets. Also Read - T Natarajan Lauds Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Captaincy After Impressive Team India Debut in Australia, Recalls Emotional Moment

“Pucovski is not far away to return to play. He is pretty close to return,” he added. Also Read - Rahul Dravid on Receiving Praise For India's Historic Series Win Over Australia: 'The Boys Deserve All The Credit'

Warner missed the first two Tests and the preceding three T20 Internationals as well as one ODI game against India due to a groin injury. He sustained the injury during the second ODI.

His return would lend solidity to the Australian top-order as Joe Burns has not been consistent though he scored a half-century in the second innings of the Adelaide Test.

If Pucovski is also cleared to play, it will be interesting to see whether he will be asked to open alongside Warner or persist with Burns.

The 22-year-old Pucovski was tipped to make his Test debut in the first day-night match in Adelaide but it was delayed after he was hit on his helmet during the warm-up game.

After winning the first Test by eight wickets against India at Adelaide Oval, Australia suffered a defeat at MCG. The four-match Test series is now levelled at 1-1.