MELBOURNE: Opening batsmen David Warner and Will Pucovski have been included in Australia’s 18-man squad for the third Test against India in Sydney but Joe Burns has been dropped after twin failures in Melbourne.
Regular opener Warner missed the first two Tests with a groin strain while the uncapped Pucovski was ruled out after suffering concussion when hit on the helmet by a short ball in a tour match before the series started.
Burns was out for a duck and four at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where Australia crashed to an eight-wicket loss on Tuesday that levelled the four-Test series at 1-1.
“Joe Burns has been released from the squad and will return to the Brisbane Heat,” selector Trevor Hohns said in a media release on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, Joe’s returns have not been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of.”
Hohns said Warner had made strong progress in his recovery and would be given every chance to play in the third Test, which starts on January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Will is in the final stages of the graduated return to play protocols and has been symptom free for some time,” he added.
“He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return to play protocols and an independent assessment.”
All-rounder Sean Abbott was also included in the squad after recovering from a calf strain.
Squad: Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.