India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Warner, Pucovski return to squad, Burns out
David Warner and Will Pucovski were added to Australia’s squad for the third and fourth Test against India
David Warner and Will Pucovski were added to Australia's squad for the third and fourth Test against India, while out-of-form Joe Burns was released, who would return to Brisbane Heat in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).
Apart from Warner and Pucovski, Sean Abbott will also be joining the Australian squad in Melbourne for the Sydney Test's preparation, Cricket Australia said in a media release on Wednesday.
"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. Sean has fully recovered from a calf strain and is also available for selection. Will 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.
Joe Burns has been released from the squad and will return to the Brisbane Heat. Unfortunately, Joe's returns haven't been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of," Cricket Australia Selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
Burns has been omitted after scoring 8, 51no, 0 and 4 in the opening two Tests, while the home side is hopeful of Warner's return, who is understood to have nearly returned to full fitness from a groin injury he had suffered last month.
Even though Warner has been looking positive, having started to train at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) nets this week, he is yet to be declared a certain starter for the Sydney Test, starting on Jan. 7, Australia skipper Tim Paine indicated on Tuesday that the left-hander is on track to play.
"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 was quoted by cricket.com.au, as saying.
Australia are expected to train in Melbourne until Jan. 3 before moving to Sydney the following day for the third Test, which is scheduled to start on Jan. 7.
India thrashed Australia by eight wickets to level the Border Gavaskar series 1-1 with two Tests remaining. Suddenly on the backfoot, Australia will look to bounce back in the Sydney, and their former skipper Ricky Ponting has advised his boys to take a cue from India's victory at MCG.
"Shoe is on the other foot, they have just got to do exactly what India did coming into this week. And there's some soul searching to do and Justin Langer would be very disappointed with the output from a lot of the players this week. Tim Paine has just spoken about that now," Ponting said in a recent interview.
Ponting also pointed out that Australia want their top order men to deliver. "They need Warner back, they need Smith to score runs, they need Labuschange to find the form of last summer as well. (Labuschagne) has not looked to be in as good a touch as he was last summer and those three players are just so vitally important to this Australian lineup, it's as simple as that," added Ponting.