Opening batman Joe Burns has been axed completely from the 18-man Australia squad selected to face India in the third Test at the SCG in Sydney.
Burns was dismissed for a duck in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne before only managing four in the second as India strolled to victory inside four days.
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He was already under pressure coming into the series after a period of poor form but kept hold of his place after injuries and concussion to David Warner and Will Pucovski respectively, both of whom are hoping to be fit for selection for the New Year’s Test.
Sean Abbott is also once again available for selection have recovered from a calf strain which had previously ruled him out of contention.
National selector Trevor Hohns said: “David Warner, Will Pucovski and Sean Abbott will rejoin the squad in Melbourne tomorrow evening in preparation for the Sydney Test.
Burns’ excruciatingly painful innings
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“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.
Quack! Burns out for Boxing Day duck
“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.”
The Aussies will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before moving to Sydney on January 4 – just three days before the Test will begin – in an attempt to minimise the amount of time spent in the New South Wales capital amid the growing COVID clusters.
FULL AUSTRALIA SQUAD TO FACE INDIA IN THE THIRD TEST:
Tim Paine (TAS) (c)
Pat Cummins (NSW) (vc)
Sean Abbott (NSW)
Cameron Green (WA)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Marcus Harris (VIC)
Travis Head (SA)
Moises Henriques (NSW)
Marnus Labuschagne (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Michael Neser (QLD)
James Pattinson (VIC)
Will Pucovski (VIC)
Steve Smith (NSW)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Mitchell Swepson (QLD)
Matthew Wade (TAS)
David Warner (NSW)
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