Australia won’t be having the services of Will Pucovski for the opening Test against India, starting December 17 at the Adelaide Oval. The 22-year-old has been ruled out after he suffered ‘mild concussion symptoms’ during the first tour match at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney. The right-hander copped a blow on the head by a delivery from fast bowler Kartik Tyagi.
Thereafter, he went on to miss the second warm-up game, which is currently taking place at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Pucovski was widely tipped to replace David Warner for the Day-Night Adelaide Test after the latter was ruled out due to an adductor muscle tear. Pucovski came into the tour on the back of double centuries against South Australia and Western Australia.
Marcus Harris added as replacement
With both Warner and Pucovski missing out from the opening Test, Marcus Harris has been added to the squad, reported by 9News Queensland. Harris is likely to share the opening duties with Joe Burns, who had a top score of 29 in his last four first-class matches. Harris was also a part of the national team that played the four-match home series against India back in 2018-19.
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) December 12, 2020
Burns scored 135 and 93 against Western Australia and Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield after which he entered into a form slump. He had scores of 4 and 0 in the first warm-up match and fell prey to Umesh Yadav on both instances. In the batting department, the Aussies will depend heavily on Steve Smith, who is currently ICC’s number-one ranked batsman in Test cricket.
Marnus Labuschagne, who has come up the ranks in the last one and half years, is also expected to be a key element in their setup. Labuschagne turned up with an impressive knock in the second ODI at the iconic SCG where he scored 70 odd runs while batting in the middle-order.
Australia’s bowling department also needs to be looked after. Mitchell Starc nursed an injury, missing the third ODI before he missed the last two T20Is. Pat Cummins was also rested after the first two ODIs. The onus will also be on Nathan Lyon, who has tasted quite a bit of success against India.