On Thursday, Cricket Australia (CA) announced a 17-man squad for the home Tets series against India. Right-handed batsman, Will Pucovski has been named in the squad after his magnificent performance in the domestic cricket. He will be contented with Joe Burns to partner David Warner for an opening slot.
Pucovski, who is a middle-order batsman moved at the top of the order in the last two first-class matches and scored double hundreds in each game. The 22-year-old has been in thunderous form for Victoria for a couple of years. On the other hand, regular opener, Joe Burns has struggled in the Sheffield Shield matches, scoring 57 runs in 5 innings.
David Warner to be consulted regarding his opening partner
While Joe Burns will be the preferred opener considering that he has had a successful run with David Warner at the top of the order, it is also impossible to ignore Will Pucovski’s scintillating form- 495 runs at an average of 247.5 in Sheffield Shield this year.
National selector, Trevor Hohns has said that they will have a chat with Warner about his choice of partner. He says that David Warner is an experienced senior player and wants him to be comfortable while batting. Hohns opined that a batsman should be consulted for the pick of his opening partner as the first wicket stand is crucial in a team posting a match-winning total.
According to an ESPNCricinfo report, Trevor Hohns said, “Of course we talk to David, he’s a very senior player, he’s very experienced and it’s important he’s comfortable as well, provided we are, of course, with the person he opens with. It goes a long way in forming an opening partnership. You have to be comfortable with your partner and we certainly do consult players on such issues.”
Joe Burns and David Warner as an opening pair averages 50.55 in 27 innings, with 6 hundred partnerships. However, Hohns feels that Pucovski is good enough to open the batting.
He heaped high praise on the Victorian’s form and is confident that the right-hander has the technique to bat at the top of the order. Both the batsman will have a chance to prove themselves in the warm-up matches against India.
“Will’s in fantastic form. He’s not just in good form, he’s in great form. I think that’s undeniable. He has the game to handle that [opening] as we’ve seen already. Okay it’s only a couple of games but prior to that he’s been batting at No. 3, he certainly has the technique to handle the opening position if required,” Hohns added.
Australia will host India for 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 4 Tests. The limited-overs series begins on 27th November in Sydney, and the high-voltage Test series commences with a pink-ball Test in Adelaide on 17th December.