Australia's Test skipper Tim Paine shrugged-off concerns over the fitness of star batsman Steve Smith ahead of the opening Test with India on Thursday, and hinted struggling Joe Burns will keep his spot against India in the day-night pink-ball Test opener at the Adelaide Oval.
Smith, the world's number one Test batsman, didn't have a net session in Adelaide on Tuesday after appearing to hurt his back during warm-up exercises. But Paine highlighted that Smith's no-participation was precautionary and the former captain will take the field against the Virat Kohli-led side.
"His (Steve Smith) preparation has been very good," said Paine.
"He has batted for the last week since we've been in Adelaide. So for him to have a day off might actually be a blessing in disguise. He has had a stiff back before. Yesterday was more precautionary," he added.
"He's set to train today, so we'll see how it goes. But come tomorrow, whether he's fit and sore in the back, or stiff in the back, I think he normally gets up, gets through it and finds a way to contribute like he always does."
The hosts have been haunted by injuries ahead of the four-Test series, with veteran opening batsman David Warner ruled out of the Adelaide Test with a groin injury, and his replacement Will Pucovski also missing as he recovers from a concussion.
In another latest development, Paine said youngster Cameron Green, who took a whack on the side of his head in the practice game, is "pretty good to go". The 21-year-old all-rounder is all set to get the first bite at the cherry in Test cricket.
"He trained really well with us yesterday and the reports are he's pulled up really well this morning, so all things going well Cam Green will make his Test debut tomorrow," the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman added.
Matthew Wade is likely to open to make room for Green. However, it will be interesting to see whether Burns will retain his place, or Marcus Harris makes a surprise inclusion. However, Paine hinted that Burns' experience might help him secure a place in the team.
"He (Joe Burns) averages just over 40 in Test cricket. If Joe walks out to bat tomorrow, we've got full confidence in him doing the job, there's no doubt about that," Paine concluded.