Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Pucovski receives maiden call-up for Sri Lanka Tests

Will Pucovski celebrates his incredible hundred against WA Will Pucovski celebrates his incredible hundred against WA
Kristopher Love | 12 January, 2019, 20:10

Marnus Labuschagne, Pucovski, Burns and Renshaw have been picked in the Cricket Australia XI that will face Sri Lanka in the visitors' only tune-up before the first Test, a thee-day game starting on January 17. The 20-year-old scored a double century for Victoria last year - the first Australian under 21 to do so since Ricky Ponting.

A highly-rated youngster, Pucovski scored 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October a year ago before he took an indefinite break from cricket on mental health reasons.

Burns was also called into the side for the final Test in South Africa and had been scoring heavily for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.

Following the 1-2 series defeat to India, the axe has been wielded of Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh.

As for the dropped quarted of Finch, Handscomb and the Marsh brothers, Horns explained that the four players were ignored following their performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, mentioning that they failed to make the most of the opportunities given to them.

"We see him as a long-term prospect as a Test player and have confidence in his ability to bounce back following a string of low scores early in the Shield season", said Hohns of the 22-year-old.

The recall comes despite averaging 19 in this season's Sheffield Shield, with Ashes-minded selectors relenting and citing his recent record in England when reading out his name on Wednesday.

"Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield".

Hohns, Justin Langer and Greg Chappell are now attempting to fix a misfiring top six during a two-month period in which domestic players can only make their case in Twenty20 cricket. "We look forward to him joining the squad". However, he has only played eight first-class matches because of mental health issues.

"It (the lack of first-class cricket) is probably not's unfortunate. how we rectify that, that's in the hands of CA". The left-hander has only managed 199 runs at 19.9 in Sheffield Shield so far but had a superb County season with Somerset previous year.

The first test against Sri Lanka, a day-night match at the Gabba in Brisbane, starts on January 24. The second test begins at Canberra's Manuka Oval on February 1.