Will Pucovski's massive call on playing Test cricket again after breakthrough century

The Victorian batsman scored his first century in first-class cricket since November 2020 on Sunday.

Pictured Will Pucovski
Will Pucovski scored his first century in more than three years and it's given him the feeling that he can rise to the top of the sport. Image: Getty

Will Pucovski scored his first century in first-class cricket for more than three years on Sunday and it has given the Victorian opener belief that he can return to the Test fold. The 26-year-old made 131 in Victoria's drawn Sheffield Shield clash with NSW in his return to the side after being ruled out of the previous game due to concussion issues.

Pucovski's trademark patience and poise that saw him break into the Test side in January 2021 was on full display on Sunday, bringing up his hundred off 258 balls for the seventh century of his first-class career. The 26-year-old has always been held in high regard by Australian selectors and has long been touted as a future Test opener but has only managed one game for the national side to date.

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The Victorian opener has suffered eleven concussions in his short career, resulting in him having to take several breaks from the game. A shoulder injury and mental health struggles have also plagued the right-hander throughout his cricket career. But Pucovski's SCG century has given him the belief that he can resurrect his cricket career and once again push for a Test spot.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: Will Pucovski of Victoria celebrates scoring a century during the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Victoria at SCG, on February 18, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Will Pucovski celebrates scoring a century during the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Victoria at the SCG. Image: Getty (Cameron Spencer via Getty Images)

"It’s been a huge journey of pretty significant ups and downs given where I know I've been," Pucovski told SEN. "To get that first hundred back, I sort of look at it as a bit of a second chance at a career which I've been very lucky to have.

"(That second chance) is because of the support I've had from my state, my teammates, everyone that's been around me like my family and my friends. It just sort of feels like hopefully, I can start to sort of repay that faith that a lot of people have had in me when it probably would have been easier to give up … and I was pretty close to giving up on myself at some stages. So, it did feel sort of extra special I think in that regard, it sort of felt like a first hundred."

Will Pucovski sets his sights on Test cricket return

The 26-year-old says the desire to wear the baggy green again is "burning harder than it ever has" as he pushes to recapture the form that saw him earn his Test debut. The Victorian opener told SEN's Vic State Cricket Podcast that he believes with his determination to keep improving his game, he will eventually once again earn a chance to showcase his talent on the international stage.

"I've just always had that desire to get better and find ways to improve. I think you never play really the perfect innings so there's always room for improvement," Pucovski said. "I think for me, I've never really seen cricket as a job or as a chore or training as a thing I don't really want to do. It's always something that I've really loved so I'm pretty lucky in that regard.

"Obviously the more runs you make the better because you're going to contribute to team success and personally, it's satisfying to achieve that personal success with the hard work you put in. There's always going to be highs and lows, things don't go your way sometimes. But that desire (to play Test cricket) is never really going to go away."

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