India is taking on Australia to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it won during its last visit, in 2018-19. India is trailing the series 0-1, following its eight-wicket loss in the opening day-night Test, in Adelaide. Both the sides have injury concerns, ever since the tour began.
Australia has received a setback in the form of twin injury blows. Prolific opener David Warner, along with pacer Sean Abbott, has been ruled out for the upcoming Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, starting Friday.
The news would not be well received by the Australian management, despite leading the series 1-0, following its eight-wicket win in the opening day-night Test, in Adelaide. Nonetheless, the news is sure to favour India somewhat, considering the beating it took in the same.
Warner is still recovering from a groin injury, he suffered during the One-Day Internationals (ODI), as he was, consequently, ruled out of the Twenty20 Internationals (T20I). At the same time, he also did not feature in the Adelaide Test.
Other than his injury, Australia's COVID regulations have allowed him to stay in bio-bubble restrictions, despite having travelled to Melbourne from Sydney on December 19. As of now, he won't be able to join the squad until December 30, while the restrictions are being put in place, citing the recent outbreaks in Sydney.
"David Warner and Sean Abbott will rejoin the Australian men's Test squad ahead of the third Test against India. Warner and Abbott spent time in Sydney outside the team's bio-secure hub to recover from injury. While neither player has been in a specific 'hotspot' as outlined by NSW Health, Cricket Australia's biosecurity protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day Test," a spokesperson from Cricket Australia (CA) was quoted as saying, reports ESPNCricinfo.
"Warner has not fully recovered from a groin injury suffered in the ODI Series against India and would not have been available for the second Test match, while Abbott has recovered from a calf strain sustained during Australia A's tour match against India and would have been available for selection for the Boxing Day Test. The pair travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to continue their rehabilitation, given the changing public health situation in Sydney at the time," he added.
Meanwhile, for India, seamer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of the series remainder, owing to a fractured wrist. He suffered the same while batting during the second innings in Adelaide, that saw the side being bundled out for its lowest Test total, of 36.
As of now, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce Shami's replacement. Furthermore, senior opener Rohit Sharma's unavailability is also a headache, while regular skipper Virat Kohli is back home on paternity leave, with Ajinkya Rahane to take over the captaincy rein.
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Last Updated Dec 23, 2020, 10:52 AM IST