Australia Likely to Minimize Squad Size Ahead of Last Two Tests, More Players to be Released – Report

Last Updated: February 21, 2023, 14:30 IST

Australia likely to make changes to the Test sqaud ahead of last two games of BGT 2023 (BCCI Photo)

The Aussie head coach Andrew McDonald has clarified that form won’t be the factor behind releasing the players from the squad

Team Australia is reportedly looking to downsize their squad size for the last two Tests against India, scheduled to be held in Indore and Ahmedabad, respectively. The likes of Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have already flown back home. While the former was ruled out with an Achilles injury, the Australian Test captain has returned due to personal reasons. However, he will be back and reunite with the squad ahead of the Indore Test.

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David Warner is the next Australian player whose India tour came to an end midway. The opening batter was hit on his elbow by a Mohammed Siraj delivery and was ultimately substituted out of the Delhi Test with a concussion as another short ball from the Indian pacer hit his helmet’s grill. Later, the X-rays revealed that Warner has suffered a hairline fracture in his elbow and would undergo a detailed rehabilitation program.

According to The West Australian, the likes of Ashton Agar and out-of-form Matt Renshaw, who replaced Warner as a concussion substitute in 2nd Test, will fly back home if they don’t fit into team management’s plans for the next two Tests. It has also been learned that the official announcement of the same would be made on Wednesday.

“We’re working through that so it won’t be form as such but there’s cricket going on back home,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald was quoted as saying.

“With a few players now becoming fit and available, are we carrying too many? We’ve got to be clear on what we want to achieve in the next two Test matches in terms of the structure of the team,” he added.

The Aussie head coach further clarified that form won’t be the factor behind releasing the players from the squad. It just that they could return home and contribute to their teams in the domestic circuit.

“There’s an opportunity for players to be playing cricket back home and we value that.

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“It won’t be form related, it’d be more we want our players playing where they can be and not just being carried around in kit bags, in particular when there’s cricket going on back home,” McDonald said.

On Sunday, India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 after defeating Australia by 6 wickets in Delhi and having an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. The third Test, which was initially scheduled to be played in Dharamsala, will get underway on March 1 in Indore.

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