Aussies rocked by heartbreaking Will Pucovski news for fourth Test

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Will Pucovski, pictured here after diving to field a ball at the SCG.
Will Pucovski reacts with pain after diving to field a ball. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Marcus Harris’ 16-month wait for a Test recall is over with the opener locked in to replace the injured Will Pucovski in Australia’s XI for the series decider against India.

Harris was dumped after the 2019 Ashes and has been repeatedly overlooked since.

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The 28-year-old has been part of Australia’s enlarged Test squad throughout the current series, which is level at 1-1 heading before the Gabba decider that begins on Friday.

Harris has watched Victoria teammate Pucovski, David Warner, Joe Burns and Matthew Wade open the batting in recent weeks.

But Tim Paine has now confirmed Harris will open alongside fellow left-handed batsman David Warner in the fourth Test, declaring it will be the only change to Australia's XI.

Pucovski failed to bat in the Gabba nets on both Wednesday and Thursday, with the Australian skipper confirming he had been ruled out of the series finale because of a shoulder injury.

“He tried to train this morning, didn't quite come up,” Paine told reporters.

“He'll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here.

“Marcus Harris will come in, open the batting and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Paine described Harris as a “no fuss, very good player.”

“He’s been working his backside off in our hub,” he said. “He deserves his opportunity.

“He’s a really relaxed type of character, so he's one we certainly enjoy having him in and around our group.”

Will Pucovski,. pictured here after injuring his shoulder in the third Test.
Will Pucovski looks on after injuring his shoulder in the third Test. (Photo by Matt King - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Will Pucovski’s horror injury run continues

Pucovski suffered a partial shoulder dislocation while diving in the field at the SCG, where he impressed on Test debut while opening alongside Warner.

On Wednesday Justin Langer confirmed that Pucovski had a shoulder issue before the mishap on the final day of the third Test, which seemingly amplified the problem.

“He was going to have a scan after that day's play anyway,” Langer said.

“With shoulders, as long as he can bat OK and catch - it's not as big a deal in Test cricket ... we're really hopeful he will get up.”

Pucovski scored a stylish 62 in the first innings in Sydney, prompting former Test captain Ricky Ponting to declare the youngster a 10-year Test player.

However his latest injury comes after a string of concussion issues that delayed his Test debut.

Meanwhile, Warner spent almost an hour in the nets on match eve, with Langer having already declared the veteran will back up in Brisbane, after he returned from a groin injury in the SCG Test.

Australia XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nahtan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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