Australia announce squad for the third Test against India; Joe Burns dropped

David Warner has returned to the squad after recovering from his injury.

David Warner
David Warner. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

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Australia have announced the squad for the upcoming third Test of the four-match series against India to be played in Sydney from January 7, 2021. The opener Joe Burns has been finally dropped after his twin failures in Melbourne. Even in Adelaide Test, he had scored only 8 runs in the first innings before saving his place with an unbeaten 51 in the second innings while chasing a paltry score.

David Warner has returned to the squad after regaining full fitness. He had sustained an injury during the ODI series against India and had also missed the subsequent T20I series as well. Will Pucovski has also recovered from his ninth concussion which he suffered during the first practice game against India. Warner and Pucovski will most likely open the innings in the Sydney Test for Australia.

The four-match series is nicely poised now with India’s stunning comeback in the Boxing Day Test. The visitors, in the absence of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, played superbly to keep Australia under the pump throughout the Test to win the match by eight wickets.

Who will be dropped? Wade or Head?

Meanwhile, the Australian team management will have to scratch its head over the team combination for the Sydney Test. Matthew Wade has done decently in the first two Tests as an opener but he had never opened before in first-class cricket. The hosts can retain him at the top of the order and only include David Warner for Joe Burns in the line-up.

If they are willing to hand a debut to Will Pucovski and make him open, then Australia will have to leave out either Wade or Travis Head. Both the batsmen haven’t converted their starts in four innings. It would be unfair on Wade though who has batted well and most importantly, looked assured at the crease, unlike Head. With scores of 7, 38 and 17, Head looks the most vulnerable members in the playing XI at the moment.

There is no change to the rest of the squad and depending on the fitness of the fast bowlers, Australia might take a call on altering the pace attack it seems.

Here’s Australia squad for Sydney Test: Tim Paine (c), 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.