“I would pick him to open” – Mark Taylor finds the potential Australian opener for India Tests
Will Pucovski received maiden Australia call-up following a promising run in the ongoing domestic season. Successive double hundreds in the Sheffield Shield led him to the Test squad for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series.
Puckovski missed the opening two rounds of the competition. Still, he has scored 495 runs so far this season in three innings and is currently the tournament’s highest run-scorer. His batting prowess has impressed former Australian captain Mark Taylor, who has urged the national selectors to pick in-form Pucovski to open the batting against India.
“Pucovski said he’s ready - he’s made two double hundreds. Pick him while he’s in form. He has the potential to be a player for the next decade,” said Taylor on Channel 9’s ‘Sports Sunday’.
On the other hand, incumbent opener Joe Burns averaged 32 for Australia last summer and has had below-par start to the Sheffield Shield season, scoring 57 runs from five innings.
“I would play Will Pucovski and leave Joe Burns out. Burns averages 38 in Test cricket he’s been a solid player for Australia without being a great one,” Taylor added.
Pucovski was on the brink of making it to the Test squad in late 2018 but stepped away from the game, citing mental health concerns. Taylor also praised the youngster for taking a six-week break from cricket to deal with mental health issues.
“He’s been open and honest about it from the word go that wouldn’t have been easy. In the sides I played in it would have been seen as a sign of weakness now it’s seen as a sign of strength. His openness and his transparency with his mental health issues have really helped him, and I think has set a really good example for young sports people,” Taylor said.
However, head coach Justin Langer has hinted that he is likely to stick with Burns at the top for the opening Test in Adelaide beginning December 17.