Melbourne: David Warner, Sean Abbott and Will Pucovski have been named in Australia’s 18-player squad for the remaining two Tests against India, while struggling Joe Burns has been dropped from the side, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday.
With all three expected to be fit by the third Test, Australia have strengthened their squad for the final two Tests in Sydney and Brisbane.
Opener Joe Burns, who returned scores of 8, 51*, 0 and 4 in the first two matches, has been dropped.
“David [Warner] has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will be given every chance to play in Sydney with another seven days until the match. Sean [Abbott] has fully recovered from a calf strain and is also available for selection,” said national selector Trevor Hohns.
“Will [Pucovski] is in the final stages of the graduated return to play protocols and has been symptom-free for some time. He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return to play protocols and an independent assessment,” he added.
Hohns also expressed disappointment over Burns’ below-par performances in the two Tests and said, “Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of.”
Warner has been training at the nets at the MCG this week and Australia captain Tim Paine is happy with his progress.
“David looks really good from what I’ve seen. He’s obviously been training in the nets and he’s started running a bit between the wickets, so the early signs for him are very good for the third Test, which is awesome for us,” Paine said.
Australia will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before moving to Sydney on January 4. The third Test begins from 7 January with the series level at 1-1.
Squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner. (UNI)