Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Drums beat for Pucovski's Test debut
Justin Langer expresses his enthusiasm for Victorian prodigy as former Australia stars call for his inclusion in next month's opening Test
AAP & Cricket Network
24 October 2019, 08:29 PM AEST
The time is right for Will Pucovski to be given his Test debut with the youngster seen as the ideal player for the future according to Australia's former greats.
Called into Australia's squad last summer but going without a game, Pucovski is shaping as one of the front-runners for the No.6 spot having been endorsed by Ricky Ponting last month.
Coach Justin Langer said the 21-year-old is "well and truly in the discussion" for a spot, even likening the public's desire to see him included to the narrative that accompanied a young Phil Hughes.
"I watched him bat the other day, he's got so much time," Langer told SEN. "I really like the look of him.
"There was this great story and this great narrative about Phil Hughes. I think there's a similar one about Will Pucovski.
"He's young, he's making lots of runs, he's averaging 50 in domestic first-class cricket. He's had his struggles and keeps coming up with a smile on his face.
"If he keeps making runs and batting like he is … all the stories coming out of Australia A and more importantly Victoria, the people love how he goes about his business. So he's certainly well and truly in the discussion."
A century-maker in the opening round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, Pucovski has hit 189 runs at 63 to start the season and will have two more games before the first Domain Test against Pakistan.
But Shane Warne said he had seen enough to know that Pucovski had to be in the team at the Gabba on November 21.
"I would be picking Pucovski," Warne said at the Fox Cricket launch. "I think it's time we had a good young player in there. A bit like the old Australian way.
"We used to pick the best young player going around, he deserves his selection. Put him in at No.6 and he can work his way up."
A member of the squad last summer, Pucovski removed himself from the Australian group to manage his wellbeing.
Since then he has spent time with a mindfulness coach, and worked hard on routines both before matches and between balls while batting.
It paid dividends during the winter, as he averaged 67 on Australia A's tour of England before returning to form for Victoria.
Pucovski has put his hand up at a time where Travis Head is out of form and Mitch Marsh has broken his hand punching a dressing-room wall.
"I think he is a good chance, no doubt about it," former selector Mark Waugh said of Pucovski.
"He was identified last year as one of the younger players who is good enough to play for Australia."I think the next few Shield matches will be crucial to that batting line up. He is definitely in the frame, there is no doubt about that."