Will Pucovski’s shocking streak of bad luck continued with Gabba’s test opening batsman after succumb to a shoulder injury.
Pucovski was injured in the third test and was unable to recover in time to take his place in the lineup for the decisive fourth Test against India, starting tomorrow.
The news was confirmed by captain tim paine at today’s press conference.
“Will Pucovski won’t play tomorrow. He tried to practice this morning and didn’t really arrive,” Paine said. “He will have a little work to do with our medicos from here.”
Pucovski’s absence will secure the third new opening combination in three tests, with Marcus Harris returning to the side for the first time since his retirement after the 2019 Ashes series.
Harris will return to his place at the top of the order, alongside David Warner, who is playing below peak form after suffering a groin tear during the November ODI series against India.
After failing the first two tests of the series, Warner was rushed to the side for the SCG test after Joe Burns (dropped out) and Matthew Wade (returned to middle order) failed to shoot as a makeshift opening couple in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Harris and Warner last faced off together in the Ashes 2019 series, with the two having had a scorching time against the top-class bowling of England stars Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
While Warner held onto his place due to his outstanding record and lasting reputation as one of Australia’s top two test batsmen, Harris was replaced by Burns.
The Victorian is hoping to make a better return to the side than Burns, with just one chance to prove he has more to give at the Test level as a replacement for his more gifted State teammate Pucovski.
“Marcus Harris will be coming in, we can’t wait to see what he can do,” Paine said.
“Harry is a hassle-free player. He’s worked his back. He’s had a huge number at Sheffield Shield cricket (this season).
“We can’t wait for him to mind his own business. He’s a really relaxed character.”
Harris for Pucovski was the only change in the Australian squad following the disappointment of the Sydney Draw after an extraordinary batting effort on Day 5 for India.
Former test star Michael Kasprowicz yesterday predicted reserve pitcher Michael Neser to make his debut replacing one of the three rapids that couldn’t do the job on Monday.
However, this was not the case, with the Australian selectors remaining with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, as well as spinner Nathan Lyon, who will play his 100th Test.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith (c), Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (wk, c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood