Will Pucovski ruled out of first Test as 'frustration' mounts

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the first Ashes Test as the 23-year-old continues to recover from another concussion. (Photo by Cameron Spencer - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the first Ashes Test as the 23-year-old continues to recover from another concussion. (Photo by Cameron Spencer - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Test hopeful Will Pucovski will have to wait a bit longer to regain his place in the Australian side, with the 23-year-old officially ruled out of the first Ashes Test.

Pucovski was ruled out of the first Test after Victorian state coach Chris Rogers confirmed he would also sit out the team's upcoming Sheffield Shield clash against NSW.

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It was hoped that Pucovski would be able to prove his fitness in time to face England at the first Test, but continued setbacks as he recovers from the 10th concussion of his short career have halted his progress.

The Ashes are set to begin at the Gabba on December 8, with hopes now resting on Pucovski being available from the mid-point of the five match series.

Rogers consulted Australia's selectors in deciding to rule Pucovski out of Victoria's Shield game against NSW, starting on Friday.

"It's no doubt a setback," Rogers told reporters on Wednesday.

"I'd say now it's unlikely he will play in the first Test.

"He hasn't quite recovered as well as hoped to play in this (Shield) game from the concussion.

"So in discussions with the medical team and the national selectors, it was felt we give him a bit more time before we select him to play for Victoria."

Australian and Victorian hierarchy have taken a long-term view with the precocious talent who played his sole Test last January against India.

Rogers said Pucovski was also unlikely to be available for Australia's slated Test 'probables versus possibles' fixture on the Gold Coast ahead of the Ashes opener.

"Those players who are hoping to play in that game would have to go into quarantine post this Sheffield Shield round, so I daresay that is probably a little bit off the table for Will as well," he said.

Will Pucovski frustration understandable after latest concussion setback

Rogers said Pucovski had been left frustrated by the latest setbacks in his Test career.

Having been touted as a potential Test opener even as a teenager, Aussie fans have had limited opportunities to see the talented Victorian prove himself.

"No doubt there's a lot of frustration for him, he wants to be playing," Rogers said.

"He hasn't played for seven months and to walk straight back into the cauldron and have to perform against very good opposition, that is going to be really difficult.

Will Pucovski impressed in an all-too-brief Test debut against India last year. (Photo by Cameron Spencer - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
Will Pucovski impressed in an all-too-brief Test debut against India last year. (Photo by Cameron Spencer - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

"And that would have been playing on his mind also.

"The decision is to look after him and allow him a bit more time to prepare in the right way rather than rush him into matches that are going to have a lot of intensity and a lot of scrutiny for him.

"Of course he wants to play for Australia for a long time to come.

"There's a strong desire to get him into that Australian side because he's such a talented player and a lot of people recognise it.

"But he hasn't played for seven months so we have got to be mindful of the fact that we want him to, and no doubt he does as well, have a long career.

"So there has got to be some thought around what is in his best interests and how that plays out."

With AAP

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