Jhye Richardson and Will Pucovski are in line for their Test debuts.
Jhye Richardson and Will Pucovski are in line for their Test debuts.

Tim Paine: Future is now for our young guns

Will Pucovski might only be 20 years of age but he's a young man with a wise head on his shoulders.

I first met Will in the Cricket Australia XI squad last summer and have kept in touch with him ever since.

The thing that strikes you first is how mature he is for his age.

It's not necessarily something you see every day to be honest, as a lot of the younger guys who come onto the scene are pretty flashy and a bit more out there.

But he's certainly not that.

He's a well spoken young man and comes across a bit older than he looks.

And I sense he's got a real confidence in himself. There's something about him.

Kurtis Patterson is a bit the same. He's quietly spoken but there's a self-belief within him and you can really feel that with him at the moment.

I think both of them if they were to play, would be making their Test debuts at the perfect time.

I'm sure there's been a bit of a surprise at the squad we have picked for this series, particularly after Kurtis was called in on Monday, but I think it was a sensible decision.

He's had a really consistent few years and we know he's a really good character. Kurtis has the sort of character we want around this group at the moment.

Two batsmen will now miss out on the XI which is a little bit unusual but it's part of professional sport.

In the NBA or Major League Baseball you can get a phone call walking into training one morning and all of a sudden you've been traded and you're off to live in another city.

Cricket's not quite that extreme but you have to be adaptable and everyone in our group has been really clear on what's happening and where they sit.

 

Will Pucovski looked in good form against Sri Lanka in Hobart last weekend.
Will Pucovski looked in good form against Sri Lanka in Hobart last weekend.

Jhye Richardson has been called in for Josh Hazlewood and there's a lot to like about this really clever, skilful, fast bowler.

I'm still amazed at the size of his frame and how fast he can bowl it.

For a smaller, slightly built man he's extremely strong and really powerful which allows him to bowl with real speed. For him to bowl 145km/h is mind blowing.

What I love about him is he's a real competitor and he rolls his sleeves up and just gets stuck into the contest.

All of those guys are ready to go if picked and it'll just come down to picking the best team and combination to win the Test.

The other exciting thing this week is we have Travis Head and Pat Cummins being given responsibility of being vice-captains for this series. It's a great opportunity for them to learn and develop.

 

Kurtis Patterson hit a pair of unbeaten centuries last weekend.
Kurtis Patterson hit a pair of unbeaten centuries last weekend.

It's not a huge issue for us in the sense that we've said all along that we're trying to create an environment where everyone is a leader.

That's why we went down the path of having two vice-captains because we want to be spreading it around and giving guys an opportunity to lead within our group.

While externally some might think there is a leadership gap in Australian cricket, we think there's a number of guys like Travis and Pat who down the track will be fantastic leaders in this group.

News Corp Australia


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