Pucovski gets shock Australia call-up as Marsh brothers dumped

Ruben Hill
January 10, 2019

Former Australia all-rounder and now a coach and commentator Tom Moody supported the decision to pick Pucovski saying his selection was not a surprise to him even as many found it so.

The turmoil surrounding Australia's Test team since Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for ball- tampering in March was made clear again yesterday with a substantial reshuffle of their batting line-up for the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka.

Among those axed from the squad include both Shaun and Mitch Marsh, as well as Aaron Finch, who all struggled in the four Tests against India. Pucovski is among the three major changes rung in by the selectors, including the recall of Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw.

But they face competition from Matt Renshaw, who has been handed another opportunity despite misfiring in the domestic Sheffield Shield this season.

"Ultimately Aaron, Peter, Shaun and Mitch have not produced the performances expected of them with the bat at test level", chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns sad.

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. They have been given good opportunity, but have not produced the scores we need.

Mitch Marsh of Australia bats during day four of the Boxing Day Test match between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Pucovski was the shock call-up. "We look forward to him joining the squad".

A highly-rated youngster, Pucovski scored 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October a year ago before he took an indefinite break from cricket on mental health reasons. "He is another player with a track record of making centuries", said Hohns.

Burns, who has played 14 Tests, has been knocking on the door this season with Queensland, while Renshaw has been unlucky not to get another call-up until now, since his last appearance at Johannesburg in April.

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

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The first test against Sri Lanka, a day-night match at the Gabba in Brisbane, starts on January 24. In order to fine tune their preparation for the series, Pucovski, Burns and Renshaw will play the three-day practice match with the pink ball against Sri Lanka.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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