David Warner and Will Pucovski have returned to the Australian squad for the last two Tests against India, even after out-of-form opening batsman Joe Burns has been ousted. Warner’s inclusion is a boost for Australia which lost the second Test by eight wickets and their batsmen were unable to cross 200 over two innings. Fast bowler Sean Abbott will also join the squad after recovering from a calf load. Burns, who returned scores of 8, 51 not out, 0 and 4 in the first two tests, could be traded with Warner at the top of the order even if the left-handed continues his recovery from the groin injury he sustained last month .
Pucovski, who was in line to make his Test debut in the first Test in Adelaide, suffered a concussion during a warm-up match. The concussion decided Pucovski from the first two tests.
Australian captain Tim Paine was optimistic about Warner’s return to the squad on Tuesday, saying the opening bat looked “very good for the third test.”
“Pucovski is not far off to return to play. He is pretty close to return,” Paine said at a press conference after the game in Melbourne on Tuesday.
However, Pucovski will still have to pass further tests before being cleared for a possible debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Will is in the final stages of the gradual return to protocols and has been symptom-free for some time,” said Australian selector Trevor Hohns. cricket.com.au.
“He will be fit to play in Sydney, provided he completes return protocols and an independent review.”
On Warner’s return, Hohns said, “David has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will have every chance to play in Sydney with seven days left until the game.”
Warner’s return will complement Australia’s punching power as they head to the New Years Test in Sydney with the Tier 1-1 series and their hitting lineup under the microscope.
Steven Smith was far from his best in the series, achieving scores of 1, 1 *, 0 and 8 in the series.
Marnus Labuschagne has starts – 47, 6, 48 and 28 – but failed to turn them into big scores.
The addition of Sean Abbott gives Australia a new bowling option in case one of their mainstays – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins – is injured.
Nathan Lyon remains the specialist spinner while captain Paine is likely to don the wicket-keeping gloves.
Australian squad for the last two tests: 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
Topics mentioned in this article