After impressing one and all by his strokeplay, youngster Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the Brisbane Test due to an injury, and will be replaced by fellow opener Marcus Harris. The latter has been recalled to the Test side after a gap of 16-months, and had last played in Ashed 2019.
Harris was part of the squad for the Test series, but didn’t get a game. Earlier, his Victoria teammates have opened the batting — Pucovski, David Warner, Joe Burns and Matthew Wade open. But skipper Tim Paine has confirmed it as the only change in the playing XI for the Brisbane Test.
“He tried to train this morning, didn’t quite come up," Paine told reporters. “He’ll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here. Marcus Harris will come in, open the batting and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.
This is what he said for the incoming player, “He’s been working his backside off in our hub," he said. “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."
Meanwhile, India’s weakness in the lower middle-order batting as well as bowling could present an opportunity to all-rounder Washington Sundar in the fourth and final Test that begins at the Gabba here on Friday.
The right arm off-break bowler and left hand batsman, who has played 21 T20 Internationals but just one ODI and no Test, stayed back as a net bowler after the white ball series in which he played all the three T20 matches.
With KL Rahul returning home due to a wrist injury and Mayank Agarwal hit on the hand at the nets, India face a dilemma as they look to bring in someone to replace Hanuma Vihari, who injured his hamstring during the third Test and is unlikely to play at the Gabba as the No. 6 batsman. There is talk that Wriddhiman Saha could come in as a specialist wicketkeeper and bat at No. 7 while Rishabh Pant could play as a pure batsman at No. 6 with Agarwal in at No. 5.
Australia XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nahtan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.