Will Pucovski ruled out as Australia confirm their playing XI for Brisbane Test

Will Pucovski sustained a shoulder injury during the Sydney Test.
Will Pucovski sustained a shoulder injury during the Sydney Test.

Australia opener Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the Gabba Test due to the shoulder injury he sustained in Sydney. Marcus Harris, Pucovski’s teammate from Victoria, has been named as the replacement. It will be the only change in the Australan playing XI for the final Test.

On the final day of the Sydney Test, debutant Will Pucovski injured himself while diving to stop the ball. He travelled to Brisbane with rest of the team, but did not bat at the nets.

Australian captain Tim Paine confirmed that Pucovski won't feature in Brisbane.

“He tried to train this morning, didn’t quite come up. He’ll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here,” Paine told reporters.

The injury is a major setback for young Will Puckovski. The 22-year-old was expected to debut in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval before a concussion ruled him out of the first two games of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He finally made his much-anticipated debut in Sydney last week, stroking a fine 62 in the first innings.

Marcus Harris receives Test recall after 16 months

Marcus Harris (right) will replace his Victorian teammate Will Pucovski for the final Test.
Marcus Harris (right) will replace his Victorian teammate Will Pucovski for the final Test.

Marcus Harris’ 16-month wait for a Test recall comes to an end as he will replace Will Pucovski in the Australian line-up at the Gabba. Confirming the news, Tim Paine told reporters:

“Marcus Harris will come in, open the batting and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do. He’s been working his backside off in our hub. He deserves his opportunity. He’s a really relaxed type of character, so he’s one we certainly enjoy having him in and around our group.”

Harris will be Australia's fifth opener in the ongoing Test series. Matthew Wade and Joe Burns opened in the first two Tests, while Will Pucovski partnered David Warner in Sydney.

Marcus Harris wasn’t a part of Australia's original Test squad, but was added after David Warner and Will Pucovski sustained groin injury and concussion, respectively.

He last played for Australia in the 2019 Ashes, where he had replaced the struggling Cameron Bancroft.

Earlier this season, Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski had shared a record-breaking opening stand of 486 against South Australia.

The 28-year-old left-handed batsman had debuted against India during the 2018-19 series. He was the best Australian batter with 258 runs at an average of 36.86.

Australia announce their XI for Brisbane

Marcus Harris' inclusion would be the only change in Australia's line-up for the Gabba Test.

Australia XI for Brisbane Test: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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