'I'm worried': Justin Langer's fears for Test hopeful Will Pucovski

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Will Pucovski's repeated concussions have left Australian coach Justin Langer 'worried', but the former batsman believes Pucovski still has a fruitful career ahead of him. Pictures: Getty Images
Will Pucovski's repeated concussions have left Australian coach Justin Langer 'worried', but the former batsman believes Pucovski still has a fruitful career ahead of him. Pictures: Getty Images

Cricket Australia's concussion protocols will dictate whether Will Pucovski is in line for a potential Test debut in Melbourne but Justin Langer fully believes the Victorian can have a productive career.

Pucovski was ruled out of the day-night Test in Adelaide after suffering his ninth concussion, having copped a bouncer blow during a tour game in Sydney.

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The scare has placed fresh doubt on the prospects of the gifted 22-year-old batsman, who has now been on the cusp of a baggy green during three consecutive home summers.

"We're obviously keeping a close eye on him. He's back home with his family at the moment," Australia coach Langer said, having suffered plenty of head knocks himself in a 105-Test career.

"I'm worried about Will because he got hit again the other day and he almost certainly would have played this first Test match, so I feel for him.

"He'll recover well then we just have to keep following the protocols.

"If they go through the stages and are fit for selection then we have a choice to select them or not ... if they don't, it's taken out of our hands."

Langer added concussions and head knocks were "part of the game".

"Unfortunately we get hit," the former opener said.

"I can only go from personal experience, what I've felt and also seen.

"If you can get through it then there's no reason why you can't have a long and very, very successful domestic and hopefully international career."

Test selections being kept secret: Paine

Australia have settled on a side for the first Test against India but will keep it secret until Thursday's toss, captain Tim Paine says.

Paine says 21-year-old allrounder Cameron Green is fit to make his Test debut in the day-night fixture at Adelaide Oval, but won't divulge whether opener Joe Burns will play.

"We will be keeping that in house at the moment," Paine told reporters on Wednesday.

Star batsman Steve Smith will play despite suffering back soreness on Tuesday and not batting at training.

"Steve has had a stiff back a number of times of before - and you do when you bat at training as much as he does," Paine said.

"But his preparation has been very good. He has batted for the last week since we have been in Adelaide.

"For him to have a day off might actually be a blessing in disguise."

Test captain Tim Paine says the selected side for the first Test against India will remain secret until the coin-toss on day one. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Test captain Tim Paine says the selected side for the first Test against India will remain secret until the coin-toss on day one. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Allrounder Green had recovered from concussion and was set to make his Test debut.

"He is pretty good to go," Paine said.

"He obviously trained with us yesterday, reports are he has pulled up really well this morning.

"All things going well, Cam Green will make his Test debut tomorrow which is great news for him, great news for us and great news for Australian cricket fans."

But who opens the batting remains clouded with Burns in a form slump and Marcus Harris summoned as a replacement.

Paine said promoting Matthew Wade to open was a possibility.

"He is certainly an option ... no doubt about that," Paine said.

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