•Warner missed Australia’s eight-wicket victory over the tourists in the series opener last week
•He was, however, hopeful of being fit for the Boxing Day test at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which starts on Saturday.
Australia opener David Warner will miss the second test against India this week because he left a biosecure bubble to receive treatment for a groin injury that would have ruled him out of the match in any case, Cricket Australia said.
Warner missed Australia’s eight-wicket victory over the tourists in the series opener last week but had been hopeful of being fit for the Boxing Day test at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which starts on Saturday.
Bowler Sean Abbott was also unable to rejoin the squad after leaving the Sydney bubble for treatment on a calf injury but he looked highly unlikely to force his way into the side after Australia dismissed India for 36 in their second innings in Adelaide.
Both players had flown to Melbourne early ahead of state border closures following a Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney and will now rejoin the squad ahead of the third test, which is scheduled to be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Jan. 7.
“Cricket Australia’s bio-security protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day test,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“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,” it said. “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 players will not be replaced in the squad for the Melbourne test, making it likely that Australia will stick with the makeshift opening partnership of Joe Burns and Matthew Wade.
Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane is a “bowler’s captain” whose calm leadership will come in handy in India’s bid to bounce back in the four-test series against Australia, seamer Ishant Sharma said.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli left Australia to attend the birth of his first child after India’s eight-wicket humiliation in the series-opener in Adelaide inside three days.
Unlike an often-animated Kohli, Rahane maintains a low profile on the field and the bowlers are likely to be consulted more in the last three tests under him, said Ishant. “He’s very confident and I must say he’s a bowler’s captain,” the right-arm bowler, who missed the tour with a side strain injury, told the ESPNcricinfo website.
“We’ve played so many times together. Whenever Virat was not there, he’d ask me ‘What kind of field you want? When you want to bowl? Do you want to go on (bowling)?’
“He’s a bowler’s captain. He’s not someone who’d say ‘do this or do that’.”
The 32-year-old quick said Rahane, who led India to test victories against Australia and Afghanistan in the past, often acts as a conduit between the bowlers and Kohli.