Pucovski receives maiden call-up for Sri Lanka Tests

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2019

Burns, Renshaw and Pucovski will all play for a Cricket Australia XI in a pink-ball match against Sri Lanka ahead of the Tests in preparation for the day-nighter in Brisbane from 24 January.

Pucovski, 20, has played relatively little cricket this season, having taken a break for mental health reasons after his mammoth 243 against Western Australia for Victoria in the opening round of the Sheffield Shield season.

Red-ball specialists now running drinks in the Big Bash League, including former Test bowlers Jackson Bird and Joe Mennie plus highly-rated NSW batsman Kurtis Patterson, may also be drafted into the CA XI.

Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw are the other inclusions in the 13-member squad while Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Peter Handscomb, who were part of the squad during the four-match series against India, have been left out.

"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.

National selector Trevor Hohns said: "Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield".

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. He also performed extremely well in England during the County season. In eight first-class appearances, the 20-year old has so far almost 600 runs at an average of 49, with two hundreds and a half-century. In six matches, he has scored 472 runs at an average of 47.20 and a strike rate of 60.51. Australia lost the series against India 1-2, conceding a Test series at home against the Asians for the first time in history, and came under criticism for their show, especially with the bat. The second test begins at Canberra's Manuka Oval on February 1.

The 29-year old Burns is now the fifth-highest run-scorer in the JLT Sheffield Shield.

"I'll just go out there and try and win the game; if we can win that game it gives us good momentum as a batting group going into the first Test".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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