David Warner has been formally ruled out of contention for the Adelaide Test due to his groin strain, further narrowing Australia’s selection options for the series opener against India next week, while the struggling Joe Burns has been given another chance to find form in the day-night warm-up match at the SCG.
With a heavy cloud over Will Pucovski due to a concussion scare in the closing overs of the Drummoyne Oval tour game on Tuesday, and Burns’ continuing run of low scores, the coach Justin Langer and selectors Trevor Hohns and George Bailey will be tempted to add the likes of Usman Khawaja or even Shaun Marsh to the squad for Adelaide.
Burns will join Marcus Harris, who appears likely to be added to the Test squad, at the top of the order against the Indians on Friday with attack set to include Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Cameron Green, who scored an impressive century in the first warm-up match at Drummoyne Oval, will again line up for Australia A in what will be his first pink-ball match.
Will Pucovski was ruled out of the game yesterday after the blow to the helmet late on the final day against the Indians.
Sean Abbott and Mitchell Swepson, both part of the enlarged Test squad, will play at the SCG before linking up with the rest of the Test squad who flew to Adelaide on Wednesday. The side will be captained by Alex Carey.
Ben McDermott, the Tasmania batsman, has been added to the Australia A squad meaning he will miss the start of the BBL with Hobart Hurricanes.
“Joe Burns, Cameron Green, Sean Abbott and Mitchell Swepson will derive great benefit from playing high quality against the pink ball in the final tour match,” nationa selector Trevor Hohns said. “All have enjoyed an excellent preparation for the Vodafone Test series and the NSP believes a final hit-out against India’s bowlers under lights will round it out nicely.”
Despite doing all he could to return to fitness in time, Warner and team medical staff concluded that he would not be fully capable of running between the wickets or fielding with his usual verve – two key elements of his high tempo Test match game.
“I feel I have made great progress in a short amount of time and it’s best for me to stay here in Sydney to continue working on getting back to full fitness,” Warner said. “The injury feels a lot better, but I need to be able to satisfy in my own mind and to my team-mates that it is 100 per cent ready for Test match conditions.
“That includes running between the wickets and being agile in the field. Right now I feel I am short of being able to play at peak fitness and another 10 days will make a difference.”
Langer said he was extremely confident Warner would be ready in time for the second Test at the MCG on Boxing Day.
“If there is one guy you know will go well above and beyond that’s Dave,” Langer said. “He has done an incredible job to get to where he is today and we hope to have a fully fit David Warner at his absolute best in Melbourne.”
Australia A squad Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Alex Carey (capt), Harry Conway, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Ben McDermott, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Mitchell Swepson