Fit David Warner returns to Australia squad


Melbourne: David Warner will likely play the last two Test matches against India in the ongoing series after selectors named him in the Australia squad for the Sydney and Brisbane games and dropped out-of-form Joe Burns.

Warner was excluded from the squad that featured in the first two Tests, in Adelaide and Melbourne, following a groin injury he suffered during the second One-day International in Sydney last month.

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, said selector Trevor Hohns in a statement released by Cricket Australia.

Hohns said that Burns’s performance has not been up to scratch.

Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of, added Hohns.

Will Pucovski and Marcus Harris are the other two openers in the Australia Test squad.

Pucovski returns after he was ruled of the first two Tests after suffering concussions during the December 6-8 warm-up game against India A at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval.

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, added Hohns. Sean Abbott also makes a comeback.

Meanwhile, both Smith and Labuschagne have not been among runs with Smith aggregating just 10 across four innings at an abysmal average of 3.33 and Labuschagne doing slightly better but lower than his standards, making 129 in four innings at an average of 32.25 without even a half-century.

“I think we all hold such high standards just because they score runs every time they go out and bat. The reality is that there have only been just two Test matches (in the series so far). They are both massive run-scorers. Steve has been a champion batsman for a dozen year or so,” Cummins told the media during an interaction on Wednesday.

The Aussie fast bowler, however, said that the two batsmen, who occupy the crucial No. 3 and No. 4 spots, don’t need to look too far back to find inspiration and form.