David Warner’s mere presence makes Australia a better side and fills the other 10 on the park with exuberance and energy, skipper Tim Paine gushed on Wednesday as the opener looks set for return to Test cricket when the third match against India begins here on Thursday.

Warner missed a lot of action since India arrived as he sustained a groin injury during the second ODI. He is still not hundred per cent fit but Paine’s eulogies bore a testimony to team’s desperation to get their opener back in the wake of their batting unit’s flop show in three of the four innings so far.

“Hopefully, if he gets in and gets away, that puts pressure back on opposition right away. Regardless of whom we are playing, we are a better team when David Warner is in that team from the runs he scores or the energy he brings into the group,” Paine said.

“He protects our middle-order a bit with Marnus (Labuschagne) and Steve coming in. Other guys coming when bowlers are a bit tired, it’s an advantage. So David has got a huge role for us,” his skipper said even as the senior opener is battling against time to get closer to full fitness.

There were multiple adjectives used by Paine in praise of Warner, who is an enforcer, who can lift the other players with his impact performance.

“David has been awesome. Fills the guys with lot of confidence, he is a player you love having on your side. Always got plenty to say, really energetic, professional and I have always loved playing with him,” Paine couldn’t stop raving about the man, who was hated by his countrymen after his role in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa came to the fore.

However, Paine refused to believe that Australia’s batting formula had gone for a toss during the first two games in Warner’s absence.

“I don’t think so as batting formula is very individual. You definitely want to bat for long periods of time but how you do it is up to the player.

“David is known as a dashing opening batter but if the conditions are not favourable he’s got to respect that. In short, he likes to be aggressive and no doubt about that but he has got great hand-eye skills and he can often score quicker than others,” the glovesman said.

While Paine said that they won’t be naming the squad immediately, he did drop enough hints about young Luke Pucovski making his debut having recovered from concussion suffered during a warm-up game against India.

– PTI