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Will Pucovski ruled out of final Australia vs India Test, Marcus Harris to open


Australia opener Will Pucovski will miss the fourth Test against India at the Gabba due to a shoulder injury.

Pucovski suffered a shoulder subluxation injury while diving in the field on day five of the third Test at the SCG.

Marcus Harris will come into the side and partner David Warner who has been deemed fit despite appearing to struggle with a groin injury in Sydney at the top of the order.

There were no other changes to the side that drew the third Test in Sydney on Monday.

Australian skipper Tim Paine confirmed the change after the team’s final training session on Thursday morning.

“Will won’t play tomorrow,” Paine said.

“Marcus Harris will replace him … We’re looking forward to seeing what he will do.”

Two Victorian batters walk off the field smiling during a Sheffield Shield match against South Australia.
Marcus Harris (right) will replace his Victoria teammate Will Pucovski in the Test side.(AAP: James Elsby)

Harris has not played a Test since the 2019 Ashes Tour, where he made a top score of 19 in three matches.

The 28-year-old West Australian has a top score of 79 from nine Test matches, with a first-class average of 38.86 and a top score of 250.

“[Harris has] been working his backside off in our hub,” Paine said.

“He deserves his opportunity.

“He’s a really relaxed type of character, so he’s one we certainly enjoy having him in and around our group.”

Pucovski made scores of 62 and 10 in his maiden Test match, with Paine saying the medical staff needed more time to get him right for the Test than was afforded under the three-day turnaround.

“He’ll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here.”

The Border-Gavaskar Test series is tantalisingly poised at 1-1, with the final and deciding Gabba Test set to start on Friday.



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Australia’s Will Pucovski under injury cloud ahead of final Test against India at Gabba in Brisbane


Australia opener Will Pucovski may be forced to miss the final Test against India starting in Brisbane on Friday after sustaining a shoulder injury.

Pucovski suffered a shoulder subluxation injury while diving in the field on day five of the third Test at the SCG.

Cricket Australia said Pucovski, who scored a half-century in his Test debut in Sydney, would continue his rehabilitation before a decision was made on whether he would play at the Gabba.

Meanwhile, the visitors are scrambling to sort out their Test XI after Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin helped salvage a draw in Sydney on Monday, to leave the four-match series level at 1-1.

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is in doubt for the Gabba Test because of an abdominal injury.

Bumrah received treatment for a minor abdominal strain at the SCG but continued to bowl.

India has been weakened during the series by the absence of quicks Mohammed Shami (arm), Umesh Yadav (calf), Ishant Sharma (side) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh).

Batsman KL Rahul has returned home with a wrist injury, while Vihari (hamstring) and Ravindra Jadeja (thumb) are likely to be enforced omissions for the fourth Test.

Jasprit Bumrah smiles with both hands raised above his head
India’s Jasprit Bumrah sustained an abdominal injury in Sydney.(AP: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

Ashwin (back), Rishabh Pant (arm) and Cheteshwar Pujara (finger) pushed through the pain barrier at the SCG, earning praise from skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

Opener Mayank Agarwal, who loomed as a likely inclusion for Vihari if he was forced out of the fourth Test, is now getting scans on a hand injury.

Regular India captain Virat Kohli, who welcomed the birth of his first child late on Monday night, headlines the list of unavailable talent.

Both the Australian and Indian squads arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday in the wake of the spiteful SCG Test.

Australia captain Tim Paine fronted an unscheduled media conference earlier on Tuesday morning to apologise for his behaviour during the Test.

Stump microphones picked up some barbs that Paine, who has helped turn around the Australian squad’s image after the Cape Town cheating scandal in 2018, directed at Ashwin during India’s second innings.

“I felt I had a really poor game in terms of my leadership and I think that affected our team,” he said.

ABC/AAP



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Will Pucovski scores 62 on Test debut, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith rediscover form on day one of SCG Test


Australia’s batsmen have had a rare positive day in their series against India, with debutant Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne leading the way on a rain-shortened first day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

With a top score of 200 in the first four innings of the series, Australia’s top order finally turned up in the third Test, with Pucovski getting a half-century in his first outing, while Labuschagne rediscovered something resembling his form from last summer to lead Australia to 2-166 at stumps.

The 100-run partnership between Pucovski (62) and Labuschagne (67 not out) — Australia’s first for the summer — was a welcome sight for the hosts, after David Warner’s much-hyped return from injury underwhelmed.

The veteran opener was at the crease for less than four overs but that was long enough to see he was hobbled by the groin injury that kept him out of the first two Tests.

Australia batsman David Warner watches over his shoulder as he is caught out by India's Cheteshwar Pujara at the SCG.
David Warner could only watch as he was caught out in the fourth over.(AP: Rick Rycroft)

Shortly after his wild slash outside off sailed into the hands of Cheteshwar Pujara, rain settled in over the ground and hung around for hours, taking away more than a third of the day’s play.

When play finally did get back underway, Pucovski looked assured on debut, although he was gifted extra lives by two bad drops from wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Eventually he made his way past 50 and finally fell on 62 when fellow first-gamer Navdeep Saini trapped him LBW in the 35th over.

Not long after that Labuschagne reached his first half-century of the summer as he and Steve Smith counter-attacked with a level of confidence that will be concerning for India’s bowlers with two Tests remaining in the series.

They made their way through to stumps and will return to the crease half an hour early, at 10:00am AEDT, for the next three days due to the time lost to the weather on day one.

Look back at how the day’s play unfolded in our live blog.

Live updates

Pinned

Australia v India: Third Test at the SCG

By Dean Bilton

THAT’S STUMPS! Australia 2-166 (Labuschagne 67, Smith 31)

AP

Good first day for Australia, though the time lost due to rain makes it slightly harder to proclaim a definitive victory for the hosts. To get through the 55 overs bowled for the loss of only two wickets is a good result in anyone’s books though, and there were plenty of positive signs for the Aussies to take home.

Will Pucovski’s debut innings was very good, albeit somewhat fortunate. He was good value for his 62 and was right to be annoyed he didn’t go on with it further. The last stanza of the day was pretty ominous for India though, as Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith’s powers combined properly for the first time this series. They both looked… like themselves again. Which could be very bad news for India.

First hour tomorrow will be big. This pitch looks like it’ll be a goodun for the next few days at least, so some early Indian wickets on day two could be make or break. If Marnus and Smudge continue towards lunch though, look out.

ALSO! Be aware play will start at 10am AEDT tomorrow morning, half an hour earlier than originally programmed, to make up for time lost today. So make sure you get to the blog nice and early! Until then, from me and Jon, have a lovely night.

By Dean Bilton

55th over – Here we go, Navdeep Saini to take us home

Bizarre choice. Let’s see if he can prove me wrong.

He’s bowling around the wicket to Steve Smith. I guess they are trying to bounce him out in the last over of the day. Bold strategy, Cotton.

Smith ducks the first two with a minimum of fuss.

And then he takes a single into the off side to get off strike. This hasn’t been great. Three balls to come, Marnus on strike.

Same field and tactics fort Labuschagne, who defends the first ball to fine leg.

Marnus defends the fifth. One to come.

Defended into the leg side, and that will be stumps.

By Dean Bilton

54th over – Ashwin to bowl his last over of the day

Ooh, spin! Smith just got one that exploded with spin and bounce off a length. Spun too much to take the glove, but that came from nowhere.

Bit of whippage from Smith, he takes one out to deep square leg.

That’s all she wrote from the over. Just the one to come.

By Dean Bilton

53rd over – Jadeja to bowl, Marnus on strike

Not for long, he takes a cheeky single to square leg.

Smith is looking slightly – only slightly – uncomfortable when facing Jadeja.

He takes a single to end the over nonetheless. Two overs to bowl.

By Dean Bilton

52nd over – Ashwin still hunting his first wicket

A few fielders creeping back in around the bat with only a few overs to go.

Labuschagne still happy to play some shots, but is picking out fielders. A miscued sweep shanked down into the ground, somewhat fortuitously.

A single to Marnus and another over ends. It’s all pretty comfortable for the Aussies at the moment, with three overs to bowl.

By Dean Bilton

51st over – Jadeja again

Five overs left to bowl today.

Make that four. A rapid-fire maiden defended out by Smith.

By Dean Bilton

50th over – Spin continues at the other end in the form of Ashwin

SHOUT! Any bat in that from Smith before it rebounded up in the air? No says the umpire. Rahane thinks about a review…. but pulls out at the last minute! Not out.

And then a single to get off the mark. Replays confirm Smith was nowhere near the last one too.

Two runs and a wee bit of excitement off the over then, as Australia keeps chugging along.

By Dean Bilton

49th over – Here he is, Ravi Jadeja

Good move from Rahane, this could be an interesting battle late in the day. Smith on strike.

And it’s a maiden, bit of an anti-climax after the build up.

By Dean Bilton

AP

By Dean Bilton

48th over – Ashwin to Labuschagne

SHOT! Marnus advances, plays a perfect straight drive and watches it take one bounce before crashing into the fence. Delightful batting. That’s the 50 partnership too.

So five dots and one glorious four. A good over for Marnus.

By Dean Bilton

47th over – Siraj charging in once more

Wonder if Ravi Jadeja will get a go tonight.

Siraj had been working Labuschagne over on a tight line, and it took four balls for Marnus to be able to work one square enough off his pads for a single.

One from it, runs slowing a little.

By Dean Bilton

46th over – Ashwin v Smith again

CLOSE! Smith charges inside edges onto his own pad, but the deflection falls well short of first slip. Well bowled from Ashwin, did him with flight.

But then a cheap single lets Smith get away.

Better over from Ashwin though, neither batsman really able to get away. Just two singles off it.

By Dean Bilton

45th over – Siraj to continue

DONE HIM! What a ball from Siraj. Chopped Labuschagne in half, absolutely no clue how he didn’t nick it/get bowled.

A good over from Siraj, and India needed a quiet one. That’s a maiden.

By Dean Bilton

44th over – Ashwin to bowl to Smith

Field already more spread for Smith than it was only a few overs ago.

And Smudge takes one to long on immediately. Very easy.

A single for Marnus too. And another for Smith. Field spread, runs much easier to rack up.

One more single means four from the over, during which Australia passed 150.

By Daniel Colasimone

Did Pant drop it? Did he know he’d dropped it?

 

Trent Copeland:

“One of the hardest things to explain if you’ve been a wicket keeper before, even if you’ve just watched a lot of cricket is, when you go down with your gloves and feel impact of ball in gloves, quite often you’re not sure whether the ball has bounced or whether it’s gone in cleanly.” 

By Dean Bilton

Hope y’all are having a good time. Any idea when today’s play will finish?

-X

 

I think they are intending to bowl another 14 overs in the next hour.

By Jon Healy

43rd over – As expected, Saini is out and in comes Siraj

Another elite drive from Labuschagne. Not full blooded, just shoved between cover and mid-off for three runs.

Oh and he’s almost chopped on. Siraj was on a good length and it looked like the ball stayed a bit lower than he expected, chopping into his back pad.

FIFTY FOR MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE!

Fittingly he brings it up with a drive through cover for four. That’s Labuschagne’s first half-century of the series, after twice falling in the 40s, and just Australia’s fourth from five innings.

Boom! Four more for Marnus down the ground. Half-volleys are never a great idea, but especially to a batsman in good nick.

And a couple off the hip to fine leg to end the over. That’ll also end my time at the crease. Dean’s going to take us home.

By Jon Healy

42nd over – Ashwin to Smith. The battle resumes.

HAVE IT! Charge and smacked for four back past the bowler. Followed up with a Steph Curry-esque turn of the back. Money in the bank.

But no more runs from the over. Just a signal of intent and then sit back and defend.

By Jon Healy

So what is the score in this perfect dream of yours?

-Further Dreaming

         

Never less than 400. Ever.



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Australia vs India live: David Warner falls cheaply, Will Pucovski debuts as rain hits SCG Test


Glenn McGrath drops in

(AP)

Glenn McGrath, who joined the ABC Sport commentators from India, where he’s commentating on this series, is still running the Pink Test from afar for the McGrath Foundation. The aim this year is to raise $1m for breast cancer support and education, and place Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia.

They’ve reached about half that target already, with all the complications of diminished crowd sizes at the SCG due to coronavirus.

You can donate to the McGrath Foundation here.

And of course McGrath was asked about the state of this series.

“I thought at the start of the series the bowling was going to dominate, and whoever adapted, batting wise, would win.

“I was a little surprised with our batsmen in the second test, they weren’t very proactive, they were more about defence and survival.

“I’d like to see our batsmen come out and attack a bit more.”

On comparisons between Australia’s current attack and the great bowling line-up of McGrath’s era

“I’ve always been impressed with the batting unit Australia have had for quite some time.

“There’s just no weak link there.”



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David Warner likely to play for Australia against India in SCG Test, Will Pucovski a candidate to join him at opener


An independent neurologist has given Will Pucovski the green light to play at the SCG; now Australia’s selectors must decide whether the would-be debutant is ready to partner David Warner in the high-stakes Test.

Justin Langer has all but confirmed Warner will return from his groin strain on Thursday after spending almost six weeks on the sidelines.

Warner recently admitted he is unlikely to be 100 per cent fit for the third Test, which comes with the series level at 1-1 after India’s shock win at the MCG.

Langer suggested the veteran opener is “very, very, very likely to play”, adding there was no risk “of him re-injuring himself”.

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The more challenging conundrum confronting Australia’s coach is whether Pucovski or Matthew Wade should partner Warner at the top of the order.

Pucovski and Warner shared a net on Tuesday, adding weight to the theory they will open together in Sydney.

The call to potentially promote Pucovski — who was unavailable for the first and second Tests because of the latest in a series of concussions — at the expense of Travis Head is complicated by several factors.

“Will saw an independent neurologist yesterday,” Langer told reporters on Tuesday.

“He’s seen a couple now.

“The real heartening thing for him is that while he’s had a few concussions in the past … it’s not necessarily going to have any long-term impact on him.

“All the concussion protocols … have been passed. He’s been cleared and that would be very heartening for him, his family.

Two Australian cricketers jog together on the SCG during a team session ahead of a Test match.
Australia’s top-order has struggled in the India Test series, and David Warner and Will Pucovski could be the answer.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Pucovski, who was on the cusp of a Test debut during the past two home summers but ruled himself out of contention and took a mental health break, only returned to the nets in Melbourne.

Langer noted the 22-year-old prodigy, who posted double-tons in consecutive Sheffield Shield games prior to his untimely bouncer blow in a tour game, was in a “great frame of mind” as he prepared for a short-pitched assault.

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Pucovski had no issues whenever confronted with a bouncer during Australia’s main training session before the third Test.

“He’s incredibly positive about playing cricket. He’s trained hard this week and, as he and I have discussed, the only way to get back on the horse is to get back on the horse,” the former Test opener said.

Warner will replace axed opener Joe Burns in the XI.

Head, who is averaging 20.66 in this series, looms as the batsman likely to make way if Pucovski is presented with a baggy green.

“Heady is a good player. Averaging 40 in Test cricket. He’s a really aggressive player in the middle overs,” Langer said.

AAP



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Joe Burns axed from Test squad as David Warner, Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski named in 18-man group


Struggling Test opener Joe Burns has been left out of the squad for the remaining two games of the series against India.

Long-time opener David Warner is expected to fill one of the spots at the top of the order in his return from a groin injury, while fellow openers Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski have also been included in the 18-man squad for the Tests in Sydney and Brisbane.

“David has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will be given every chance to play in Sydney with another seven days until the match,” selector Trevor Hohns said.

Burns was the only member of the team who played the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne to miss out on selection in the squad for the rest of the series.

He had struggled in Sheffield Shield cricket leading into the Test series and had scores of 8, 0 and 4 in three of the four innings through the first two Tests.

He did score an unbeaten half-century as Australia chased down 90 to win the first Test, but it was not enough to save the out-of-form Queenslander.

An Australian cricketer kneels with his head on the grass after injuring himself while fielding.
Warner injured his groin while fielding in the ODI series last month.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

“Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of,” Hohns said.

Warner, Pucovski and all-rounder Sean Abbott, coming off a calf strain, will rejoin the squad in Melbourne on Thursday.

Spectacular Shield form had put Pucovski in the frame to make his debut as an opener in the first Test, but a nasty concussion, his ninth, during a warm-up match saw him sidelined.

“He will be fit to play in Sydney subject to completing the return-to-play protocols and an independent assessment.”

The injuries to Pucovski and Warner allowed Burns to keep his spot for the first two games of the series and forced middle-order batsman Matthew Wade into an unfamiliar opening role.

Despite performing respectably at the top of the order, there is speculation Wade may move back down to his preferred spot lower down the batting order for the rest of the series, meaning two new openers could be picked for the third Test in Sydney.

That opening partnership would be some combination of Warner, Pucovski and Harris, with current number five Travis Head possibly being dropped.

The third Test will start at the SCG as scheduled on January 7, but COVID-19 protocols mean the squad will fly into Sydney later than usual and only be allowed out of quarantine to train and play the match.

Players will train in Melbourne on January 2 and 3 before travelling to Sydney on January 4.



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Australia’s Wiil Pucovski set to miss Boxing Day Test against India, Joe Burns cleared of serious injury


Will Pucovski is expected to be ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against India, while Joe Burns is set to play after being cleared of serious damage to his arm.

Pucovski was sidelined from the first Test in Adelaide, which Australia won by eight wickets, after suffering the ninth concussion of his career earlier this month.

He is likely to remain unavailable, with Australia adopting an understandably conservative approach as the Victorian continues his recovery.

Burns copped a nasty blow to the elbow on Saturday when his unbeaten 51 helped Australia complete its win at Adelaide Oval.

The opener was clearly bothered after being struck by the Jasprit Bumrah delivery but batted on, finding form as he outscored India’s entire second innings in the lopsided day-night Test.

There were fears Burns, who was sent for scans, could join Australia’s extensive injury list.

But the Queenslander has been cleared of a broken arm and is set to open at the MCG, where the hosts will pursue a 2-0 series lead in the four-Test series.

Joe Burns watches the pink ball intently after playing a shot.
Joe Burns posted an unbeaten half-century in Australia’s win over India.(AP: James Elsby)

The identity of Burns’s opening partner remains up in the air, although the growing expectation is that Australia will stick with an unchanged XI and give David Warner a further week and a half to recover from his groin strain.

Warner, who rushed to Melbourne on Saturday amid growing concerns about Sydney’s COVID-19 cluster, is yet to give up hope of convincing Australia’s medical staff and coach Justin Langer he is ready for the rigours of Test cricket.

Time is against the former vice-captain, although he is renowned for his fitness and has been working diligently in recent weeks.

David Warner plays a pull shot with his eyes closed
David Warner has been recovering from a groin injury.(AP: Andrew Cornaga)

Recalling Warner, be it for the second or third Test, will mean a member of the middle order has to make way.

Cameron Green, who bowled nine overs in India’s first innings then clutched a low catch to dismiss Virat Kohli as the tourists slumped to a record-low total of 36 on day three, and Travis Head are the obvious candidates.

Matthew Wade served as a makeshift opener in Adelaide, sharing a 70-run stand with Burns in the final innings of the pink-ball Test.

Australia’s Test squad will train on Monday and travel to Melbourne on Tuesday.

AAP



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Australia rules potential debutant Will Pucovski out of first Test against India in Adelaide


Will Pucovski is unavailable for selection for Australia’s first Test against India starting in Adelaide on Thursday after sustaining a concussion earlier this week.

Pucovski was concussed batting for Australia A in the tour match against India at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old, who has suffered nine concussions during his young career, was expected to make his Test debut in Adelaide after his outstanding start to the Sheffield Shield season with Victoria.

His Victorian teammate Marcus Harris has been elevated to Australia’s squad, with David Warner also ruled out of the first Test because of an adductor injury.

Australian selectors are also sweating on the condition of young all-arounder Cameron Green, who was subbed out of Australia A’s second match against India at the SCG on Friday evening after suffering a concussion while bowling.

National selector Trevor Hohns said he was hopeful Pucovski and Warner would only be unavailable the Adelaide day-night Test.

“We have taken a conservative approach in managing Will since he sustained the concussion and hope he and David will be back to full health ahead of the Boxing Day Test,” Hohns said in a statement.

Marcus Harris and Will Pucovksi walk off the field side by side, still wearing their helmets and pads
Marcus Harris (left) will replace his Victorian teammate Pucovski in Australia’s squad.(AAP: James Elsby)

Harris has played nine Tests for Australia and scored 355 runs at an average of 118.33 in two Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria earlier this season.

Earlier this season, Harris and Pucovski broke the record for the biggest partnership in Sheffield Shield history — passing the 30-year-old mark set by Steve and Mark Waugh — when they compiled an opening stand of 486 runs against South Australia in Adelaide.

“Given the spate of injuries in recent weeks, we’re fortunate to be able to bring a player of Marcus’ calibre into the Test squad,” Hohns said.

“Marcus has been in outstanding form for Victoria this season and has had the benefit of facing India’s bowlers in both three-day tour matches at Drummoyne and under lights at the SCG.”

Will Pucovski holds his bat and helmet in the air
Pucovski has scored two double centuries already this Sheffield Shield season.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

Pucovski hit consecutive double centuries for Victoria in its opening two Sheffield Shield matches for a staggering average of 247.50.

On Tuesday, he was hit on the front of the helmet trying to pull a ball from India paceman Kartik Tyagi.

On 23 at the time, Pucovski remained on his hands and knees on the ground for around 90 seconds before being escorted from the field retired hurt.

Pucovski and Green had appeared to be in line to make their Test debuts together in Adelaide.

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Cameron Green spoke to trainers as he walked off the ground after copping the heavy blow.

Green was starting the 45th over of the opening innings of the second warm-up clash between Australia A and an Indian touring side, when tail-ender Jasprit Bumrah played a powerful drive back towards the bowler.

The ball hit the right side of Green’s face, sending him to the turf.

Green, coming off a century and two wickets in the first tour match earlier this week, was on the ground for about 30 seconds before getting up.

The 21-year-old looked alert as he spoke with trainers on the pitch and was smiling and chatting to them as he left the field, but was later subbed out of the match under cricket’s concussion guidelines.

Green’s Australia A teammate Harry Conway was also subbed out of the tour match because of concussion.

Conway sustained a hit to his helmet from a bouncer when batting on Friday night.

He was initially cleared to continue batting but later reported concussion symptoms when he was re-assessed following Australia A’s innings and was ruled out of the remainder of the match.

The fast bowler was replaced by Mark Steketee as a concussion substitute.



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David Warner ruled out of first Test against India at Adelaide Oval, selectors sweat on Will Pucovski fitness


Australian opener David Warner has been ruled out of the first Test against India at Adelaide Oval.

Cricket Australia confirmed that Warner, who suffered an adductor muscle injury during the second ODI at the SCG, would remain in Sydney to continue his treatment.

The first Test is due to get underway on December 17.

“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 via a statement.

“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.

An Australian cricketer kneels with his head on the grass after injuring himself while fielding.
David Warner sustained his injury during the second ODI against India.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

“Right now I feel I am short of being able to play at peak fitness and another 10 days will make a difference.”

Australia coach Justin Langer hopes Warner to be fit to return for the second Test on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

“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,” Langer said.

With Warner ruled out, Langer will now be sweating on the fitness of young gun Will Pucovski, after he suffered a concussion in the first tour match with India in Sydney yesterday.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Will Pucovski’s hopes of a Test debut are in doubt after copping a blow to the head in Australia A’s drawn tour match against India.

Pucovski was in line to make his debut, and was looking comfortable on 23 before a rising bouncer from Kartik Tyagi felled him.

The Victorian young-gun was able to leave the field unassisted, but looked groggy.

He has suffered eight concussions previously, and has now just nine days to recover before the Adelaide Test.

Langer also has a potential issue with Joe Burns, who has struggled with poor form this year.

The Queensland batsman has passed 11 just once in seven innings this summer, with his average sitting at 8.71.



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Australia A’s Will Pucovski retires hurt after being hit by bouncer against India



Will Pucovski’s hopes of a Test debut are in doubt after he copped a blow to the head in Australia A’s drawn tour match against the Indians.

Pucovski, who has had eight concussions previously, was hit on the front of the helmet trying to pull a ball from paceman Kartik Tyagi.

On 23 at the time, he remained on his hands and knees on the ground for around 90 seconds before being escorted from the field retired hurt.

He looked dazed as he walked from the ground unassisted, with Dr John Orchard beside him.

The Victorian young gun looked to be closing in on a national team debut in Adelaide, with only nine days to go before the first Test against India.

He hit double centuries in both Sheffield Shield games for Victoria this summer.

David Warner remains in grave doubt and in a race against time to beat a groin injury and play, leaving Pucovski in the driving seat to open alongside Joe Burns.

Even if Warner is fit, there was every chance on Tuesday afternoon Pucovski had edged ahead of Burns.

The Queenslander’s poor run with the bat continued in Australia A’s second innings, out for a duck as the game finished with the hosts 1-52.

Sent back into bat late on the final day, Burns was bowled third ball when he played on trying to drive Umesh Yadav.

Marcus Harris, who could now find himself in contention for a recall, finished the day 25 not out.

Cameron Green also did his Test chances no harm, taking two wickets on Tuesday to go with his unbeaten 125.

But Burns continues to struggle.

He has now passed 11 just once in seven innings this summer, with his average sitting at 8.71.

It came after unheralded Queensland quick Mark Steketee took 5-37 in India’s second innings before they declared at 9-189 and set Australia A 131 from 15 overs.

Michael Neser took 2-41, including the prized scalp of Cheteshwar Pujara for a duck when he took his off stump with one that seamed back at him.

Green meanwhile removed openers Prithvi Shaw (19) and Shubman Gill (29) with his pace and bounce — both caught at point — to return figures of 2-19.

The 21-year-old still faces a tough task to crack into Australia’s Test team for the series opener next week, with selectors keen to stick with the incumbent middle order.

But his century in Australia A’s first innings of 306 showed he could belong in the top six on his batting alone, playing beautifully through the offside.

AAP



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