Former Australian batsman Callum Ferguson says he is ‘staggered’ by the fact Test hopeful Will Pucovski has not yet been ruled out of the remaining two matches against India.
Pucovski’s impressive form in the Sheffield Shield held him in good stead to earn a highly anticipated Test debut, but the latest of nine concussions for the young batsman meant he missed out on a spot for the first Test.
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The 22-year-old has been ruled out of the Boxing Day Test as well, but Ferguson says Pucovski should be ruled out for the New Year’s Test as well.
“I can’t see them playing Pucovski. To be honest, I’m staggered we’re still talking about it,” Ferguson told ABC Grandstand.
“He’s had so many hard hits to the head.
“Glancing blows have been seeing him leave the field in the last two to three years where other players would have just taken the helmet off, looked at it and gone, ‘Yeah nah, that’s fine’, and then put it back on and kept batting.
“I can’t believe we’re talking about bringing a young lad, who’s 22, back into a Test side to face this Indian attack.”
Australian selectors are facing a batting dilemma as opener David Warner seeks to regain his spot in the side after injuring his groin earlier this year.
Joe Burns cleared to play after elbow knock
Rob ForsaithSun, 20 December 2020, 5:49 pm AEDT
Joe Burns has been cleared of serious damage to his arm, while concussed young gun Will Pucovski has been ruled out of a Boxing Day Test debut.
Burns copped a nasty blow to the elbow on Saturday, when his unbeaten 51 helped Australia complete an eight-wicket win over India at Adelaide Oval.
The opener was clearly bothered after being struck by the Jasprit Bumrah delivery but batted on, finding form as he outscored India's entire second innings in the lopsided day-night Test.
There were fears Burns, who was sent for scans, could join Australia's extensive injury list.
But the Queenslander has been cleared of a broken arm and is set to open at the MCG, where the hosts will pursue a 2-0 series lead in the four-Test series.
Pat Cummins was full of praise for "tough opener" Burns.
"He didn't have the runs on the board that he would have liked coming here but great call from the selectors and Painey (Tim Paine) to keep him in the side," Cummins said.
The identity of Burns' opening partner remains up in the air, although the growing expectation is that Australia will stick with an unchanged XI and give David Warner a further week and a half to recover from his groin strain.
Warner, who rushed to Melbourne on Saturday amid growing concerns about Sydney's COVID-19 cluster, is yet to give up hope of convincing medicos and coach Justin Langer he is ready for the rigours of Test cricket.
Time is against the former vice-captain, although he is renowned for his fitness and has been working diligently in recent weeks.
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