Will Pucovski will be spending more time in the orange bib in Canberra.
Will Pucovski will be spending more time in the orange bib in Canberra.

Pucovski’s ‘huge potential’ won’t help him for Canberra

Will Pucovski's eagerness to learn has impressed Australia's coach Justin Langer but it appears almost certain the Victorian youngster will have to wait a while for a Test debut.

Pucovski will remain in Australia's extended squad for the Canberra Test against Sri Lanka, but it's expected Langer will stick with the same XI unless the pitch pushes him in the direction of Marcus Stoinis.

A preferred option of numerous ex-players, Pucovski missed out on debuting in Brisbane when Kurtis Patterson was brought into the squad off the back of twin centuries in a Hobart tour game.

Opener Joe Burns was also picked over the 20-year-old, given it offered Australia more strength at the top and allowed Usman Khawaja to move back to No.3.

But that didn't mean Langer didn't like what he saw from Pucovski, whose lack of involvement in the Big Bash means he can continue to train with the team.

"I love the way he plays," Langer said.

"He's a really good-looking player. He's a great catch. He's a brilliant young kid.

"He is all over it with his journal. You can tell he wants to learn.

"It's all about timing isn't it playing Test cricket? There's only eleven guys you can pick.

"He's got a huge upside, huge potential and hopefully when the timing comes he'll be ready to grab that opportunity."

Friday's Test against Sri Lanka is the team's last before the Ashes series-opener on August 1, where both David Warner and Steve Smith will be free to play.

Langer is unlikely to change his batting line up for Manuka Oval after citing improvements in Brisbane.

 

Will Pucovski can’t force his way into the Aussie Test XI just yet.
Will Pucovski can’t force his way into the Aussie Test XI just yet.

He backed the experience and calmness the out-of-form Usman Khawaja brought to the young group following Brisbane, and noted the importance of Burns' 39-run opening stand with Marcus Harris under lights on day one.

He also suggested that Patterson was playing with a declaration on his mind when dismissed for 30 under lights with the pink ball on day two.

But most of all the coach praised the patience of Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, who both made 80s in what he agreed could be a blueprint for the rest of the top order.

"They played it well. They both left the ball pretty well ... That's the good thing about experience. You've got to go through some tough times to learn it," Langer said.

 

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News Corp Australia


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