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Marcus Harris to open in Brisbane if Will Pucovski fails to recover, Justin Langer confirms

<a href=Will Pucovski after injuring his shoulder on Day 5 of the Sydney Test" height="543" width="800" />
Will Pucovski after injuring his shoulder on Day 5 of the Sydney Test
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 13 Jan 2021, 12:40 IST
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Australia opener Will Pucovski, who made his debut in the Sydney Test against India, will miss the Brisbane Test if he fails to recover from a shoulder injury. Pucovski will be replaced by Marcus Harris in that case, Australia head coach Justin Langer confirmed on Wednesday.

Pucovksi partially dislocated his shoulder while putting in a dive on day 5 of the drawn Sydney Test. Langer said the team management is "hopeful" that the 22-year-old will attain full fitness ahead of the fourth Test which starts on Friday, January 15 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

“Will had a sore shoulder before he fell, he was actually going to have a scan after that day’s play anyway, just to see what was happening. We will see how he pulls up today, we are really hopeful that he will get up and if he doesn’t, then the obvious thing would be Marcus Harris would come in as an opener,” Langer said in a virtual press conference.

Pucovski became the 82nd Australian to score a fifty on Test debut. He scored a classy 62 off 110 balls in the first innings before being dismissed LBW to debutant fast bowler Navdeep Saini. In the second innings the Aussie opener’s stay in the middle was shortlived as he nicked Mohammad Siraj for a 16-ball 10.


No big deal if Pucovski can bat and catch: Justin Langer

Will Pucovski reached his half-century on the opening day of the Sydney Test
Will Pucovski reached his half-century on the opening day of the Sydney Test

Will Pucovski was primed to make his Australia debut in the first Test of the series in Adelaide. But a concussion injury he suffered to rookie pacer Kartik Tyagi in the first tour game ruled him out of the opening two Tests.

Justin Langer highlighted that Will Pucovski might be mentally drained having played his maiden game, while adding he will be picked if his shoulder permits him to just bat and catch.

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“Will is a young guy, he has just played his first Test. So mentally he’s going to be exhausted anyway. We will keep an eye on how he pulls up today. With shoulders, as long as he can bat okay and catch, it’s not as big a deal in Test cricket. We’re really hopeful he will get up, we will probably know by tonight,” Justin Langer explained.

While Will Pucovski boasts an impressive first-class record of 1,816 runs at an average of 53.41, Marcus Harris has the experience of playing the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2018-19 to fall back on. The 28-year-old southpaw had amassed 258 runs at an average of 36.86 in the four-match Test series. Harris finished as Australia's top run-getter in the series as well.

Published 13 Jan 2021, 12:40 IST
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