David Warner, Sean Abbott ruled out of Boxing Day Test
Australian players David Warner and Sean Abbott have been ruled out of the Boxing Day Test against India due to bio-security protocols. The duo, who flew to Melbourne ahead of the schedule, will rejoin the squad for the third Test in Sydney. While Warner hasn't fully recovered from his groin injury, Abbott has returned to full fitness following a calf strain.
Cricket Australia (CA) opened up on the development. "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 release stated.
Warner hasn't recovered from a groin injury that he sustained in the ODI series against India. Although Abbott returned to full fitness from the calf strain he sustained during Australia A's warm-up game against India, the bio-security protocols bar him from joining the group.
The COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Sydney, which will host the third Test. This has promoted Victoria to close borders with New South Wales. Considering the border situation, the likes of David Warner and Sean Abbott flew to Melbourne ahead of schedule. The CA ensured they do not get caught up in the restrictions around Sydney amid the outbreak.
Warner and Abbott will return to the Australia's squad ahead of the third Test. Therefore, the hosts are likely to go with an unchanged XI in the MCG Test. This means the likes of Joe Burns and Matthew Wade will continue as the makeshift openers. Notably, Burns had been cleared of a broken arm after he dealt with a blow in the first Test.
Australia have the all-important lead (1-0) in the four-match Test series, having defeated India in the series opener. The visitors recorded their lowest Test total in the second innings, after a terrific performance by Australians. Now, the hosts would want to win the Boxing Day Test. They lost the series at home, last time around (1-2 in 2018/19).