Australia head coach, Justin Langer, in vague terms has suggested that Will Pucovski has to wait for his maiden Test cap for the time being, and Joe Burns will be given the nod ahead.
While most of the Australia eleven for the first Test match – barring any injury – is locked, there is a debate going on for the opening partner of David Warner. The contenders for the opening spot are 31-year-old Joe Burns and 22-year-old Will Pucovski.
Though Burns was the regular opener for Australia against Pakistan and New Zealand before the arrival of the pandemic, Pucovski was knocking on the door – he was in the squad also last year before taking a break owing to ‘mental health’ reasons.
However, the recent Sheffield Shield scored has spread the name of Pucovski like wildfire. Both the players have has completely contrasting scores after resumption in cricket in the domestic circuit. On the one hand, Pucovski has recorded two mammoth double hundreds in two games – 255* and 202 – on the other Burns has 57 runs in 5 innings.
Pucovski has the flexibility to bat anywhere: Justin Langer
Justin Langer heaped high praise for Will Pucovski and feels that the 22-year-old is ready for Test cricket, but have to wait for the right opportunity. Langer assures that the chance will come for the youngster at some point- maybe this series, if not, then in the later Test matches.
As quoted by India Today, Justin Langer said to the reporters, “We think very, very highly of Will. When the opportunity comes, he’s ready to play test cricket. The opportunity hopefully will come for him at some point, whether it’s this series or a series to come.”
The 50-year-old also opined that Pucovski could be provided with a position in the middle-order as well, as he has batted most of his career for Victoria at number 3. Langer believes that someone who can bat in the top three in Shield cricket is good enough to bat in any position.
The head coach asserts that someone with the calibre of Pucovski has the flexibility to bat anywhere in the batting order.
“For Will, it’s about where the opportunities come. For the last 30 years, it’s been drummed into me if you can bat top three in Shield cricket, you can bat anywhere. Someone like Will, who’s opening the batting for Victoria and has batted three, it gives him the flexibility to bat anywhere,” Langer added.
Australia will host India for six limited-overs matches starting 27th November followed by the highly-anticipated four-Test match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.