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Australia's walking wounded have extra day to heal

Brisbane, Australia: Australia's four-wicket win over India with a day to spare in the second test gave the cricketers extra time for holiday shopping and for the home side's various injuries to heal ahead of

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk Updated on: December 21, 2014 12:21 IST
australia s walking wounded have extra day to heal
australia s walking wounded have extra day to heal

Brisbane, Australia: Australia's four-wicket win over India with a day to spare in the second test gave the cricketers extra time for holiday shopping and for the home side's various injuries to heal ahead of the third test which begins on Friday in Melbourne.

Opener David Warner (left wrist) and Mitchell Marsh (right hamstring), as well as fast bowler Ryan Harris, who missed Brisbane after hurting his groin in the Adelaide opener, were all question marks for the Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It seems no amount of time was enough for Marsh. On Sunday, Queensland batsman Joe Burns was called into a 13-man squad to replace Marsh.

"That's the only change. Mitch Marsh will travel with the team to get prepared for the Sydney test," coach Darren Lehmann said. "Whether it's a batter, bowler or all-rounder, we need to make sure players are 100 percent."

Lehmann said Burns was the "best man to fill" Marsh's spot in the side, praising the 25-year-old's versatility as a batsman. Australia has yet to decide where Burns will bat in the order.

Australia leads the four-test series 2-0, with the final test set to start on Jan. 6 in Sydney.

Lehmann expects Warner will be fit enough to play in Melbourne, while Harris is likely to replace Mitchell Starc in the starting XI.

The in-form Warner was struck by a rising delivery in the second over of Australia's second innings on Saturday. He pulled off his glove and carried on batting, but was caught behind soon after for 6 off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.

Medical staff don't think Warner's thumb is broken, but will monitor the injury through Christmas.

"I haven't spoken to Davey yet but he's a tough little character so I'm sure he will be eager to get stuck in on Boxing Day," captain Steve Smith said. "Mitch Marsh was struggling a bit with his running today, so the physio will have a look at him over the next couple of days and make a decision."

India, meanwhile, will hope the practice nets at the MCG are more user-friendly to its side after complaining about the Gabba's training area.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan's injury in the practice nets was a major distraction for India in the minutes before play resumed on Saturday. Dhawan, who was 26 not out overnight, was hit on the right wrist when he batted in the nets as he prepared to go back out for day four with India's second-innings total at 71-1.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said team management initially thought Dhawan would be OK, but he didn't recover quickly, and the late decision was made to send Virat Kohli to the crease in his place. Kohli had been hit on the left wrist in practice, and the combined injuries sparked complaints from India about the state of the practice facilities.

India said it had been asking for several days for fresh pitches to be prepared in the nets but it had not happened.

"Instead of that, they have asked (us) to practice on worn-out wickets which (have) uneven bounce," the team said in a statement. "Because of that, two of our batsmen got injured."

There was no update on Dhawan's availability for the third test, although he seemed to bat without pain on Saturday.

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Australia (two to be omitted): David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steve Smith (captain), Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle.

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