Australia handed cruel David Warner Boxing Day blow

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Seen here, David Warner lies on his haunches in agony after picking up a groin injury.
David Warner has not recovered in time from the groin injury he sustained several weeks ago. Pic: AAP

Star Australian opener David Warner has been ruled out of the Boxing Day Test.

The 34-year-old will sit out a second-straight match as he recovers from a groin injury suffered in last month's ODI series against India.

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Warner is in Melbourne, but has been outside of the Australian team's COVID-safe hub.

Fellow Australian squad member Sean Abbott has also been left out after recovering from injury.

"Warner and Abbott spent time in Sydney outside the team's biosecure hub to recover from injury," an Australian team spokesperson said.

"While neither player has been in a specific 'hotspot' as outlined by NSW Health, Cricket Australia's biosecurity protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day Test."

Pictured here, David Warner is helped off the field after injuring his groin while fielding.
David Warner also missed the opening Test due to his groin injury from the ODI series. Pic: Getty

Warner and Abbott travelled from Sydney to Melbourne to continue their rehabilitation as the Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster grew.

With young gun Will Pucovski already ruled out, it means Australia will likely enter the second Test unchanged and Matthew Wade will again partner a resurgent Joe Burns at the top of the order.

Many are expecting India to be carrying mental scars from their record collapse in the first Test, but Australian spinner Nathan Lyon isn't one of them.

Lyon tipping India to come back stronger

India left the Adelaide Oval reeling after posting their lowest total in Test history - an astonishing 36 after holding a 53-run first innings lead.

They were already bracing to lose talismanic captain Virat Kohli after the pink-ball Test, but the day-three horror show plunged the tourists into even more trouble.

Cricket legend Ricky Ponting declared Australia had opened up "serious wounds" on India and there was a "good chance" of a 4-0 sweep following the eight-wicket result to open the series.

But Lyon knows from experience how quickly fortunes can change.

He has been involved in a number of devastating defeats at international level during his decade-long career.

The offspinner was just 23 and playing in his fourth international match when Australia crumbled for 47 in a disastrous second innings against South Africa in 2011.

Just a week later, Australia responded by securing a famous two-wicket victory to level the series in Johannesburg.

Lyon believes India will come out full of fire in the Boxing Day Test, even without Kohli, and quick Mohammed Shami (broken arm).

"You look at the quality of players in the Indian side and they've got some world-class players throughout the whole squad," the 33-year-old said.

"(Saturday) was one of the days where nothing went right for them and everything went right for us. We've had all them, it's part of the game of cricket.

"We're expecting them to come out firing and not have any scars from the other day.

"Cricket's a new game every day so you can't look too far back on it.

"We can't go out there expecting to bowl them out for (less than) 50 again."

Australia will likely head to the MCG unchanged, where they will be striving for a 2-0 series lead.

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