Will Pucovski set to gain shock call-up to Australia test squad

Will Pucovski set to gain shock call-up to Australia test squad

Australia's batting is under the pump after a deflating performance in the four-test series against India in which no player scored a hundred, with the hosts arguably flattered by a 2-1 series defeat that was completed when rain forced a draw in Sydney.

The 20-year old Pucovski, who took an "indefinite break" from cricket earlier this summer, has been on the basis on potential for he scored 243 against Western Australia before taking the break.

Batsmen Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh were all dropped from the squad that lost a home Test series against India for the first time.

In-form Joe Burns was recalled for the first time since the South Africa tour early a year ago and could open the innings with rookie Marcus Harris, who did enough against India to keep his place.

Australia's 13-man Test squad: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Matthew Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Will Pucovksi, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle.

Australia's longest-serving cricket selector Trevor Hohns believes the panel's job has never been so hard, having axed four batsmen while parachuting Will Pucovski into the Test squad after just eight first-class games.

South Africa vs Pakistan
But the hosts were unable to forge a position of dominance, struggling to 135 for five at the close, an overall lead of 212. Fast bowler Olivier was twice involved in crucial breakthroughs as Pakistan were bowled out for 185 in their first innings.

"Matt Renshaw is a player with the ability to make big scores and at 22 years old has 10 first-class centuries".

The right-hander started Victoria's campaign with a bang, becoming the ninth player in Shield history to score a double-century before a 21st birthday. "We look forward to him joining the squad and congratulate him on his first national call-up". The second test begins at Canberra's Manuka Oval on February 1.

The recall comes despite averaging 19 in this season's Sheffield Shield, with Ashes-minded selectors relenting and citing his recent record in England when reading out his name on Wednesday.

The 29-year old Burns is now the fifth-highest run-scorer in the JLT Sheffield Shield.

He added, however, that the door was not closed and they must now prove themselves again in domestic cricket and the one-day series against India this month.

"They will all feature in the ODI Series against India, and each of them forms an integral part of our white-ball strategy and set-up at the moment as we also focus on our journey to the 2019 Cricket World Cup".

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