Victorian batsman Will Pucovski is expected to make his long-awaited Test debut against India after being cleared of concussion by an independent neurologist. Australia’s coach Justin Langer confirmed on Tuesday that Will Pucovski had visited a brain and spinal cord specialist to discuss his concussion history and implications of further head injuries.
“Will saw an independent neurologist, and he has seen a couple now, and I think the real heartening thing for him is whilst he has had a few concussions in the past, and they have come in different ways, it is not necessarily going to have any long-term impact on him,” Langer told reporters on Tuesday.
“I think if you can put your mind at rest with that, then that is a real positive for him. He is in a great frame of mind. He is incredibly positive about playing cricket.”
Will Pucovski’s history of concussions
Will Pucovski, who is expected to partner David Warner at the top, is likely to face a barrage of short balls from Indian pacers. The 22-year-old has a long history of concussions, most recently against the visiting Indians during the warm-up match at Sydney. He was hit on the head by a bouncer from Indian pacer Kartik Tyagi. It was his ninth case of concussion in his career.
"As he will say in the last three years, every team he's played against has bowled a lot of short-pitched bowling to him. He's practised it, he's hit thousands of short balls, and he got hit the other day," Langer said.
“I think the bigger thing for me is Will Pucovski saw an independent neurologist yesterday, and he’s seen a couple now, and the real heartening thing for him is that while he’s had a few concussions in the past, and they're different, they’ve come in different ways. It’s not necessarily going to have any long-term impact on him,” he added.
‘Decision lies with Will Pucovski’: Justin Langer
However, Langer believes that the ultimate decision to play lies with the youngster as he will be the one facing the short-pitched bowling.
“He, ultimately, is the one that has to make the decision. Everyone will have a different opinion on it. He is the one that has got to walk out there and face the short-pitched bowling, whether it be from India or whether it's from South Australia or whether it’s from Western Australia. He is the one that has got to have the courage to get back on the horse. He wants to do that, and that's a really positive sign moving forward,” Langer added.
Will Pucovski is expected to replace Travis Head in the Australian line-up. Head has managed just 62 runs from the three innings in the series.
Making his First-Class debut as a teenager in the 2016-17 season, Will Pucovski has played 23 First-Class games, scoring 1,744 runs at an average of 54.5, smashing six centuries.Published 05 Jan 2021, 22:06 IST