Talismanic opener David Warner could be forced to miss at least the first Test after suffering a groin injury during a fielding mishap at the SCG.
Warner was rushed off for scans during the second ODI after limping from the field and later to an awaiting van, suggesting he has done some serious damage.
Warner was stationed at mid-off on Sunday, when he appeared to tweak an adductor muscle while diving for a ball in the fourth over of India’s chase.
The four-Test series between Australia and India begins on December 17, meaning any strain could put Warner in doubt for the day-night series opener.
Selectors will likely need to find a new opening partner for Aaron Finch in Wednesday’s ODI series finale and the three ensuing Twenty20s.
But filling the potential void left by Warner at the top of the Test order would cause coach Justin Langer far more stress.
Joe Burns and Will Pucovski were slated to open together for Australia A in a ‘bat off’, which starts at Drummoyne Oval on Sunday and was set to help determine which of them plays the first Test.
Burns and Pucovski may now both confront Jasprit Bumrah under lights at Adelaide Oval, unless selectors opt to overhaul the batting order.
Warner had started the ODI series in strong form, scoring 69 and 83, and scored a career-best 335 not out in last year’s pink-ball Test.
The star batsman was clearly bothered during the second ODI, yelling out in agony before a hand-up from Pat Cummins helped him stand.
Warner struggled to walk, with teammate Glenn Maxwell and physio David Beakley helping him take the first few steps from the middle before the 34-year-old limped down the race by himself.
“It’s not great signs for David,” Test tweaker Nathan Lyon said in the Fox Cricket commentary box.
“Fingers crossed he’s right to go, especially for the first Test.”
The former vice-captain’s injury comes two days after Marcus Stoinis suffered a minor side strain during the ODI series opener.
Stoinis and Warner are among the Indian Premier League stars who were released from hotel quarantine the day before the first ODI on Friday.