Veteran opener David Warner, young Will Pucovski, and fast bowler Sean Abbott have been added to Australia’s 18-member squad for the remainder of the Test series against India while out-of-form opener Joe Burns has been omitted.
Burns has faced the axe after his woeful form in First-Class cricket continued in the first two Tests against the Men in Blue where he managed scores of 8, 51*, 0 and 4. He has been released from the squad and the opener will now return to his BBL franchise Brisbane Heat.
David Warner returns to the Australian squad for the first time since his abductor injury that he picked up during the second One-day International against the tourists earlier in the summer.
With Warner set to take one of the opener’s slot, it will be interesting to see who partners him, come the New Year Test at the SCG.
Make-shift opener Matthew Wade batted valiantly in the first two Tests but with the addition of Will Pucovski, it opens up the mouth-watering prospect of slotting the newbie with veteran David Warner.
✅ David Warner
✅ Will Pucovski
✅ Sean Abbott
— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2020
Will David Warner and Will Pucovski open for Australia in Sydney?
Pucovski, who kickstarted the Shield season by smashing consecutive double tons for Victoria, was in line to make his debut in the pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval before yet another concussion in the warm-up game courtesy a sharp bumper by Kartik Tyagi consigned him to the sidelines.
Selector Trevor Horns confirmed that Pucovski “has been symptom free for some time” but he will still be required to pass further tests before he is cleared for his Test debut at the SCG.
”He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return to play protocols and an independent assessment. Joe Burns has been released from the squad and will return to the Brisbane Heat,” Trevor Horns was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au
“Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of. David 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,” he added.
Should Pucovski clear the tests and Australia decide to slot him at the top of the order alongside David Warner, it would mean bad news for Travis Head, who will have to make way for Matthew Wade, unless of-course, the hosts decide to drop Cameron Green, which looks unlikely.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Sean Abbott, who suffered a calf-strain during the pink-ball warm-up game against India has also been added to the 18-member squad.
“Sean has fully recovered from a calf strain and is also available for selection.”
The third Test between Australia and India will take place between January 07-11 at the SCG.