Opener Warner back in squad for 3rd test vs India, Burns out

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·2 min read
Australia's Joe Burns sits on the pitch as he awaits a video review during play on day three of the second cricket test between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Opening batsman David Warner will return from injury to take his place in the Australia squad for the third test against India beginning Jan. 7 in Sydney while struggling fellow opener Joe Burns has been dropped.

Also in the squad is Will Pucovski, who is close to recovering from a concussion, and fast bowler Sean Abbott.

“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," national selector Trevor Hohns said Wednesday. “Sean (Abbott) 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."

Burns entered the series against India in the poor form. He managed just 62 runs in nine first-class innings but kept his test place due to Warner's groin injury. But Burns scored 0 and 4 in the second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground won by India by eight wickets and notched only 63 runs in two tests.

“Joe Burns has been released from the squad . . . unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of,” Hohns said.

Pucovski had been in line to make his test debut in the first match of the series in Adelaide won by Australia by eight wickets before the ninth concussion of his young career ruled him out of the opening two games.

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Australia squad: Tim Paine (captain), 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.

Australia will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before moving to Sydney on January 4.