20-year-old newcomer in Australia squad for Sri Lanka tests

Will Pucovski celebrates his incredible hundred against WA

Burns, Renshaw, Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne will play for the Cricket Australia (CA) XI in next week's tour game against Sri Lanka, a virtual selection trial for the first Test that begins in Brisbane on January 24.

The big shock is the anticipated addition of 20-year-old Pucovski, one of the brightest batting talents in the country but a youngster who has only played eight first-class matches.

Pucovski only returned to Sheffield Shield action with Victoria last month, having taken leave due a mental-health issue after scoring a double century against Western Australia in October, and he was stunned to be included in Australia's 13-man squad.

Red-ball specialists now running drinks in the Big Bash League, including former Test bowlers Jackson Bird and Joe Mennie plus highly-rated NSW batsman Kurtis Patterson, may also be drafted into the CA XI.

Other batsmen who were dropped were opener Aaron Finch and middle-order bat Peter Handscomb.

"Joe Burns has had strong performances in first-class cricket this season, and we believe he can contribute strongly if given the chance in the series", added Horns.

The fixture at Bellerive overlaps with an ODI at the MCG, suggesting one-day squad members Khawaja, Handscomb and the Marsh brothers won't take part. "He is a player with a track record of making centuries".

"I'll just go out there and try and win the game; if we can win that game it gives us good momentum as a batting group going into the first Test". Playing for Somerset, he scored 513 runs at an average of 51.30 with three hundreds and a fifty in six matches.

"We see him as a long-term prospect as a Test player and have confidence in his ability to bounce back following a string of low scores early in the Shield season", said Hohns of the 22-year-old. The left-hander has only managed 199 runs at 19.9 in Sheffield Shield so far but had a superb County season with Somerset a year ago.

Australia's top order failed to perform against India's versatile attack and selection panel head Trevor Hohns admitted that the side needed to be shaken up for the Sri Lanka series, which start in Brisbane on January 24.

Meanwhile, Renshaw played last of his 11 Tests in March-April 2018 when he had to fly to South Africa for the final Test after ball-tampering scandal broke out in Cape Town.



Other news