Australian opener David Warner has been officially ruled out of the Boxing Day Test as he hasn’t yet recovered from a groin injury. Warner got injured while fielding in the ODI Series against India. The 34-year-old last played a Test match in January early this year when he smashed an unbeaten 111 against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Apart from Warner, fast bowler Sean Abbott will also miss the second Test. Abbott returned to full fitness following a calf strain but has been ruled out of the upcoming match due to Cricket Australia’s strict biosecurity protocols.
Warner and Abbott both left Sydney last Saturday to fly to Melbourne following the COVID-19 outbreak developed in Sydney. Neither of the two players was found in a designated COVID ‘hotspot’, but CA’s protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad.
“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 bio-security protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day Test,” a Cricket Australia was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“The pair travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to continue their rehabilitation, given the changing public health situation in Sydney at the time,” the release added.
The pair will return to the Australia squad ahead of the third Test, but Warner’s absence clearly means that the home team will come up with an unchanged XI into the second Test. In that case, Joe Burns and Matthew Wade will continue their opening combination.
The second Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy is scheduled to begin from December 26 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).