Vodafone Test Series v India
Injured Pucovski ruled out of the fourth Test
Skipper Tim Paine confirms rookie opener will be replaced in the Australian XI by Victorian teammate Marcus Harris
14 January 2021, 01:14 PM AEST
Rookie opener Will Pucovski has failed a fitness test this morning and has been ruled out of the fourth Vodafone Test at the Gabba, with Marcus Harris to take his place at the top of the order.
Pucovski, who made his debut in Sydney last week, injured his right shoulder while fielding on the final day of the match at the SCG.
He didn't train at the Gabba yesterday and had a short hit in the indoor nets this morning, but did not take part in fielding drills with his teammates.
After training, skipper Tim Paine confirmed that Harris will partner David Warner at the top of the order in Pucovski’s absence, with the rest of the Australian XI unchanged.
"He tried to train this morning and didn't quite come up," Paine said of Pucovski.
"He'll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here, but he's obviously missing this Test match and Marcus Harris will replace him."
Harris, who played the most recent of his nine Tests in the 2019 Ashes, played all four Tests of India's tour of Australia two summers ago, top-scoring with 79 at the SCG.
The left-hander had an Ashes campaign to forget against England's star seam bowlers and has a Test batting average of 24.06.
But after a middling domestic campaign last season, he returned to his best in the Marsh Sheffield Shield for Victoria, partnering Pucovski in a record-breaking partnership against South Australia and scoring 355 runs in two games, with a top score of 239.
He managed scores of 35, 25no, 26 and 5 in two games for Australia A against India before the Test campaign began.
"Harry's just a known (quantity) for us and a very good player," Paine said.
"He's been working our backside off in our hub for a while now. He's had huge numbers in Sheffield Shield cricket and deserves the opportunity.
"We're looking forward to him going out there and doing his stuff. He just goes about his business ... he adds a bit of humour and comedy to our team and is a really relaxed character.
"He's someone we certainly enjoy having in and around our group and someone we have full confidence in that when he gets in and gets a start tomorrow, he'll make the most of it."
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Vodafone Test Series v India 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan
First Test: Australia won by eight wickets
Second Test: India won by eight wickets
Third Test: Match drawn
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT