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Langer leaving star to beat lean run on his own

Australia coach Justin Langer had an out-of-the-box answer when asked how he's trying to coach Steve Smith out of his grim form with the bat, revealing he leaves the superstar batsman to guide himself.

Smith has garnered 7237 Test runs at an average of 61.33 and has struck 26 centuries.

So when the prolific right-hander took that record, as well as his back-to-back breathtaking one-day international tons, into the Test series against India, the cricket world expected him to continue piling up the runs.

But Smith's dominance at the crease crashed to a sudden halt, with the former Australia skipper tallying just 10 runs over the first two Tests at an average of 3.33.

Despite his extraordinary dip in form, Langer said he wasn't about to begin coaching the champion batsman, who the International Cricket Council ranks as the second best with the blade in Test history behind Sir Donald Bradman.

"How do you coach Steve? I don't coach Steve Smith; Steve Smith coaches himself and I'm sure he's going to work it out," Langer said.

"Imagine how good we'll be when he does start batting well. That's how I look at it."

Australia's second-most successful Test batsman of the last decade, swashbuckling opener David Warner, will return for his first Test of the summer when Australia host India at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Thursday.

The New South Welshman hasn't played since straining his groin in the second ODI against India, but has made huge progress in his rehabilitation and in the nets.

"He's looking very, very, very likely to play the Test match, and then we've got some other decisions to make, obviously," Langer said.

"He's very determined to play, he loves the competition, he loves playing Test cricket."

Whether uncapped prodigy Will Pucovski bounces back from his ninth concussion to partner Warner at the top of the order, or whether that task is handed to Matthew Wade or Marcus Harris, remains a mystery.

But Pucovski's chances of a Test debut today received a boost when the 22-year-old was officially cleared of concussion by an independent neurologist.

"Will's still got a few boxes to tick today – a few questions to go. Then we'll weigh up whether this Test match is right, the next Test match is right," Langer said.

"Of course it's nice to hear from the medical experts, but for me, it's even more heartening to hear from Will himself because he's the one who has to do it.

"And the only way to get back on the horse is to get back on the horse."

Australia and India are locked at one-all in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, after the hosts won the first Test by eight wickets and the visitors hit back with an eight-wicket victory of their own.

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