Australian batsman Will Pucovski has been cleared of concussion by an independent neurologist and is now available to play the third Test of the series against India starting January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pucovski was struck hard on his helmet while batting in the first of the two pre-series warm-up matches against the Indians. It was the ninth instance of the uncapped Victorian right-hander going down with a concussion. Hence the medical staff took extra care with his recovery.
If picked at the SCG, Pucovski will make his Test debut and could open alongside experienced batsman David Warner.
Will Pucovski Saw An Independent Neurologist: Justin Langer
“Will saw an independent neurologist, and he has seen a couple now, and I think the real heartening thing for him is whilst he has had a few concussions in the past, and they have come in different ways, it is not necessarily going to have any long-term impact on him,” Australia head coach Justin Langer was quoted as saying at a pre-match press conference.
“I think if you can put your mind at rest with that, then that is a real positive for him. Pucovski is in a great frame of mind. He is incredibly positive about playing cricket. He has trained hard this week. As he and I have discussed a number of times, and I am sure other people have, the only way to get back on the horse is to get back on the horse.”
“He, ultimately, is the one that has to make the decision. Everyone will have a different opinion on it. He is the one that has got to walk out there and face the short-pitched bowling, whether it be from India or whether it’s from South Australia or whether it’s from Western Australia. He is the one that has got to have the courage to get back on the horse. Pucovski wants to do that and that’s a really positive sign moving forward.”
Will and Warner could replace Burns and Wade at the top: Langer
Australia have had issues with their opening combination in the Test series so far. In the absence of Warner and Pucovski, the hosts went in with Joe Burns and Matthew Wade. But after poor outings in Adelaide and Melbourne, Burns got dropped from the squad, while the selectors retained Wade, who had been temporarily slotted at the top and looked more assured at the crease.
“As he (Pucovski) will say, every team that he has played against has bowled a lot of short-pitched bowling to him. He has practised it, he has hit thousands and thousands and thousands of short balls and he got hit the other day,” Langer signed off.
With Warner a certainty, Langer hinted Pucovski can open with him as Wade moves back to the middle-order, potentially replacing the struggling Travis Head.