Young gun Pucovski blocks out Test hype

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Victoria's record-breaking run glutton Will Pucovski is staying off social media while seeking to block out the increasingly loud and authoritative calls for him to make a Test debut against India.

Pucovski has all but confirmed his place in Australia's enlarged Test squad with the only question remaining being if selectors will blood the wonderkid in the series opener.

The 22-year-old scored 202 in Victoria's first innings of their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia, backing up last week's unbeaten 255 with trademark style and patience.

Pucovski became just the eighth player to record consecutive double-centuries at Shield level, joining an exclusive club featuring Don Bradman, Bill Ponsford and Arthur Morris.

In sharp contrast, incumbent Test opener Joe Burns has tallied 46 runs from four knocks during an underwhelming start to the Shield season.

It prompted former captains Michael Clarke, Ian Chappell and Kim Hughes to suggest Pucovski, who has battled concussion and mental-health issues in recent years, should be picked in the XI for the first Test next month.

The young gun was blissfully unaware of those calls for higher honours, likewise similar praise that came last week after he and Marcus Harris produced a record Shield partnership of 486 runs.

"I've deleted basically every cricket app and most social media things off my phone," Pucovski said.

"I haven't really read anything about it.

"It's completely out of my control.

"All I can do is present myself every day and hopefully do well."

Pucovski suggested he felt some fatigue on Sunday, en route to a stumps score of 183 not out, but otherwise has been contentedly stuck in what he termed a "batting bubble".

"There was a stage yesterday when I felt myself lost it a little bit but I managed to switch back into gear," he said.

"Felt really good, knowing I can switch back on and get back into that zone.

"I've probably developed the processes now, where I know how to get myself back into that space."

Clarke, speaking on Sky Sports Radio, suggested "the fact this series is in Australia is a great way to get him (Pucovski) into that Test team".

National selectors are finalising the Test squad, but also plans for which players will represent Australia A in two tour games.

An announcement from chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns is expected later this week.

Hohns recently indicated a 17-man squad would travel to Adelaide for the first Test against India, which begins on December 17.

Burns and Pucovski could potentially open together for Australia A in a tour game on December 6-8, especially if selectors are yet to decide who should partner David Warner at the top of the order.

BATSMAN WITH CONSECUTIVE SHEFFIELD SHIELD DOUBLE-CENTURIES: Will Pucovski, Dene Hills, Dean Jones, Peter Burge, Bob Simpson, Arthur Morris, Don Bradman, Bill Ponsford.